Hit and run: Whangarei schoolgirl in Starship Hospital

By Imran Ali

Northland police spokeswoman Sarah Kennett said the 12-year-old got off a school bus and was walking across the highway when she was struck by a car. Photo / Thinkstock
Northland police spokeswoman Sarah Kennett said the 12-year-old got off a school bus and was walking across the highway when she was struck by a car. Photo / Thinkstock

A 12-year-old girl is in Auckland's Starship Hospital after surviving a hit-and-run accident on a notorious stretch of State Highway One just south of Whangarei.

The Year 8 student of Tauraroa Area School suffered serious head and body injuries and was transported to Whangarei Hospital about 4pm on Wednesday before she was airlifted to the Starship Hospital that evening.

She was in a stable condition last night.

The police serious-crash unit is investigating the accident which happened near the intersection of State Highway One and Mangapai Rd about 3.40pm.

Northland police spokeswoman Sarah Kennett said the 12-year-old got off a school bus on Mangapai Rd and was walking across the highway when she was struck by a car.

No charges had been laid as of last night.

The driver was located by police and was still being questioned late yesterday.

Tauraroa Area School principal Grant Burns said a staff member and parents were at the scene after the accident. He said staff and students were concerned about the incident.

"We've had counsellors at the school who've been active supporting friends of the injured student and are certainly putting every care into their work," Mr Burns said. "Our main concern obviously is with her family, but we've got to take care of other students and anybody else affected by all this."

The accident happened about 10km from the school. The car was heading north. Mr Burns said the girl was on her way home.

A number of serious crashes have occurred on that stretch of road in recent years, including one in January when a holidaymaker allegedly fell asleep at the wheel, drifted over two lanes and rammed into a tree.

That driver walked away with no injuries, but the passenger in the car needed treatment for moderate injuries.

The number of crashes in Oakleigh has decreased since major roadworks were carried out in 2011 to widen the road and bridge, to create right-hand turns into the service station and Springfield Rd.

The hit-and-run was one of three accidents involving children hit by vehicles in 24 hours.

A 2-year-old died after he was hit by a car in a KFC carpark in Napier yesterday, and a girl hit by a truck in central Ashburton on Wednesday was in a serious but stable condition in Christchurch Hospital. The girl, 11, was hit while crossing SH1 about 4.45pm.

- Northern Advocate

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