Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Basketballers to wear black armbands for toddler who died in Cowles Stadium carpark

Flowers and toys have been laid at Cowles Stadium carpark in Christchurch where a 2-year-old boy was run over and killed last night. Photo / Kurt Bayer
Flowers and toys have been laid at Cowles Stadium carpark in Christchurch where a 2-year-old boy was run over and killed last night. Photo / Kurt Bayer

The Canterbury basketball community is in mourning and offering its support to the family of a 2-year-old boy who died last night after being run over at a Christchurch stadium carpark.

An ambulance was called out to Cowles Stadium on Pages Rd, Aranui, at 4.37pm yesterday.

Fire service attended the scene to help perform CPR on the boy, but the toddler died at the scene.

An ambulance was called out to Cowles Stadium on Pages Rd, Aranui, at 4.37pm yesterday. Photo / Supplied
An ambulance was called out to Cowles Stadium on Pages Rd, Aranui, at 4.37pm yesterday. Photo / Supplied

Police are investigating. The boy's name is yet to be formally released by police.

Canterbury Basketball Association said that all teams playing at the stadium will be wearing black armbands today as a show of respect.

"We're very saddened about the terrible tragedy that occurred at Cowles Stadium earlier [yesterday], and our condolences are with the family who have lost their child," it posted on its Facebook page.

"As we are a part of the local community all teams playing at Cowles will be supplied with black tape to wear on their arms in a show of support [today]."

A member of the boy's family posted her thanks for the support.

Police said they have offered their deepest sympathy to the family during this difficult time.

A Christchurch City Council spokeswoman last night said the council didn't know if the child had been inside the stadium prior to the incident or if he was playing in a nearby playground.

Therefore she didn't want to comment and said it was a matter for the police to investigate.

SafeKids Aotearoa director Ann Weaver said the incident was a tragedy.

"I do sympathise with the family for their loss and as well the driver," she said.

SafeKids Aotearoa has campaigned for drivers to be vigilant when reversing out of driveways if children are present. It was important to walk around your car before getting in to drive and the same message applied in carparks, she said.

"It's really important if you are in any situation, before you get in the car you walk around to see if there are any children," she said.

"People don't realise what they can't see when they are in a car.

"If you're reversing, you wouldn't see a 2-year-old behind you for up to 10m."

She said it was fortunate that incidents of children being hit by a car in a carpark were rare but it did happen from time-to-time.

"We often see this in different carparks whether it's a church or a supermarket.

"It's being conscious and realising cars aren't designed to see around it," she said.

Cowles Stadium in Christchurch's Aranui is a purpose-built, standalone indoor stadium.

The stadium is run by the Christchurch City Council with basketball, netball, volleyball and badminton courts for hire. It has an on-site carpark.

- NZ Herald

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