A 2-year-old girl was saved by a sharp-eyed hero policeman who spotted her walking across a busy Auckland arterial road a week ago.
Constable James Montgomery, who was reluctant to take credit for the rescue, had been driving towards Great North Rd in the afternoon on June 21 when he saw the toddler step into the opposite lane of Avondale's busy Rosebank Rd.
"The child was on my right and had wandered into the opposing lane," he told Fairfax, describing how an oncoming red Holden was bearing down at the child just as he saw her.
The car managed to stop just in time, with the 2-year-old continuing her jaunt across the road, unaware of the danger she was in.
Montgomery stopped his car across the road to block the traffic, put on his flashing lights and dashed to scoop up the child.
Once he had her out of danger, members of the public stepped up to help him look after the tiny girl as he tried to figure out where she had come from.
Montgomery located a 15-year-old in a nearby van who had been given the task of looking after her. It transpired the teen had fallen asleep, not noticing that the toddler had slipped out of the van and walked into the busy road.
After investigating the circumstances no charges were laid. Montgomery said the young girl's parents were just so relieved she was safe.
The policeman of 10 years did not want to take credit for the heroic act, and says this was the first time in his 10 years as a policeman he had been called on to save a life.
"It was quite by chance that I saw her," he told Fairfax, adding "I don't know if I could qualify it as saving a life."
But his colleagues at Avondale Police Station have commended his quick reaction, saying he possibly prevented a fatality.
He was absolutely in the the right place at the right time, said Senior Sergeant Simon Welsh.
"It goes to show just how quickly these things can occur," he warned, stressing that those supervising small children should take care to always remain vigilant.