Lucky escape for toddler

By Genevieve Helliwell


A 3-year-old girl was lucky to escape with only minor injuries after she was run over by a car in a school carpark in Tauranga.

The toddler was hit by a 4-wheel drive at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Kura Kokiri in Welcome Bay just after 3pm yesterday.

Head of Road Policing in the Western Bay, Senior Sergeant Ian Campion, said the 3-year-old girl had been playing in the carpark and was concealed by a bush before running into the path of the moving vehicle.

"The car was, I believe, moving relatively slowly entering the carpark. Basically she's run out and been struck by the vehicle," he said.

The girl was hit by the front of the vehicle before going underneath it. As she went underneath the car, she did not connect with the bottom of the vehicle or its wheels as it passed over her.

Mr Campion said the girl was awake and alert following the accident.

An ambulance from Mount Maunganui station was called to the school to assess the toddler.

A St John spokesperson said the young girl suffered minor injuries and her chief complaint was a sore right arm.

He said if was fortunate the 4WD was a big, high vehicle, "otherwise it would have been a different outcome".

The toddler was extremely lucky not to sustain more serious injuries, he said.

The toddler was taken to Tauranga Hospital for further observation.

The driver of the car was unaware he had run over the toddler until afterward, and was "extremely shaken" by the incident, the spokesperson said.

Mr Campion understood the male driver was not at the school to pick up a child. A spokeswoman from the school would not comment on the accident.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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