Neighbours have spoken of the devastating scene after a much-loved baby boy was struck and killed by a car in Otara yesterday afternoon.
Family rushed the 18-month-old to nearby East Tamaki Healthcare about 5pm, but he died soon after.
He is understood to have been struck on the driveway of the two-storey duplex where he lived with his parents and paternal grandparents.
Sina Telea lives next to the Gilbert Rd home. "I saw [the baby's father] holding the baby. He was panicked. He was just running to the car."
Ms Telea was distraught when she heard the toddler had died. "He was such a happy baby."
Warehouse storeman Stefan Ruta also witnessed the aftermath of the tragedy. He was leaving his home nearby when he heard a "big bang" and "saw the ... father, running up the driveway. He was in really big shock. Another man jumped in the car and they went to the doctor's".
Police said the driver of the vehicle was helping them with their inquiries.
Mr Ruta said he knew both parents. They were about 18 and attended Sir Edmund Hillary College until last year. He believed the toddler was their only child. "I'm in shock ... I've got two little ones myself. I'm going to give them a big hug."
Another neighbour said the toddler's parents were devoted to him.
"Even though they are young, they are really good parents. You could see they loved their child."
A woman living opposite the home said she heard a loud noise and a whole lot of yelling, and was shocked to hear a life had been lost.
"I just saw the baby yesterday, he was a beautiful little boy."
Police said the toddler would be named today.