A 7-year-old boy was hit by a car and seriously injured yesterday afternoon while riding a tricycle along a Hastings street.
The boy was playing on the gentle bend of Montgomery St, Hastings when he was struck head on by a black-and-silver vehicle, that police say didn't stop.
One neighbour said he heard a "loud bang" come from the street and then rushed outside to see what had happened.
"I came out to the road and the boy was lying on the ground bleeding, just lying there on the side of the road.
"The car just went straight over him," the man said.
Witnesses said one neighbour ran from her house to help the fallen boy.
She immediately saw the severity of his injuries and called 111.
Police and ambulance services arrived at the scene to find the boy breathing and conscious just after 3pm, before taking him to Hawke's Bay Hospital in a serious condition.
A St John Ambulance spokesperson last night confirmed the boy suffered lower abdominal injuries.
Sergeant Ray Kirkby said the vehicle had come around the bend and struck the boy playing on his trike.
"He was playing in front of his house on the side of the road when he was hit by a vehicle," Mr Kirkby said.
He said that witnesses' descriptions of the car varied because the accident happened so quickly.
Police last night continued to search for the car and driver involved in the incident, which neighbours said fled from the scene before emergency services could arrive.
Neighbours added the street was always filled with kids playing on their bikes and scooters around the roads and in driveways.
"He would have seen him [the boy] coming up the road, there is no way he wouldn't have seen him," said one neighbour.
A Hawke's Bay Hospital spokesperson last night said the boy was in a stable condition.
Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed or has any other information relating to the accident to come forward and contact police.