A 9-year-old boy suffered life-threatening injuries when he was hit by a car overtaking on the inside of a queue of heavy traffic in South Auckland last night.
The boy suffered critical injuries when he was hit on Massey Rd in Mangere about 5pm.
It is understood he was walking to some nearby shops when he was struck.
Senior Sergeant Emiel Logan said there were a lot of coins on the ground around the injured boy when emergency services arrived.
"There is a block of shops just up from where the crash happened. There was some change on the road. The assumption is that he was crossing the road to go to the shops."
Traffic was heavy at the time of the crash.
The west-bound lane of Massey Rd heading towards Robertson Rd was at a standstill and the boy crossed in front of the cars.
"The stationary traffic was to the left of the lane. It is a wide lane, wide enough for two vehicles, but it's one lane," said Mr Logan. "We understand there was a vehicle overtaking that stationary traffic and the child appears to have collided with the side of that vehicle as it passed."
The little boy was left bleeding on the road with critical injuries.
He was rushed to Middlemore Hospital by ambulance but once his condition was stabilised he was transferred to Starship Hospital.
Last night his mother was at his bedside and his condition was listed as critical but stable.
Mr Logan said the boy's mother arrived at the crash scene shortly after the ambulance left. It was unclear how she found out about the incident, but she was taken straight to Middlemore to positively identify the boy - whose condition had prevented him telling police who he was.
"She is absolutely devastated. This is a parent's worst nightmare," Mr Logan said.
"She was very confused, pretty upset."
Police were speaking to the mother last night.
They were also taking statements from witnesses who saw the car hit the boy, and the driver of the car.
Mr Logan said it was far too early to say whether the driver would face charges.
The Counties Manukau Serious Crash Unit closed part of Massey Rd last night as they carried out a full scene examination, including taking measurements of the road. They will also examine the car that hit the boy, and prepare a report for police.
Mr Logan said a lot of work had to be done before he could say exactly what happened.