Child, 3, struck by car dies

A 3-year-old child was killed on Christmas Eve after being struck by a car in a shared driveway near Taupo.

Taupo police said they were called to the incident at Hatepe village near Taupo at 8.55pm on Christmas Eve.

It appeared a woman was leaving a property down a shared driveway on Te Mako Mako Lane when her car struck the 3-year-old boy, said police.

Attempts to revive the boy at the scene were unsuccessful.

Police said the death of a child was tragic at any time but was particularly poignant as it occurred on Christmas Eve.

"Our thoughts go out to the family at this incredibly difficult time."

The identity of the little boy was still not released yesterday. Police said they would release his name once next of kin have been advised.

Police are investigating the incident and providing support for the family.

The death follows a 2-year-old boy being hit and killed by a vehicle in a driveway in Papakura, Auckland, last month.

New Zealand has one of the worst rates of children being killed by cars in driveways, with an average of five a year.

Every two weeks a child is hospitalised with serious injuries caused by a driveway-related accident, according to Safekids director Ann Weaver.

There have been 24 child deaths as a result of driveway accidents since 2007.

Summer was the peak season, for driveway deaths, with more front doors left open, and more children playing outside, Ms Weaver has said.

Parents often forgot about the dangers of their children playing around driveways as they had been inside all winter, she said.

Awareness campaigns had halved the number of driveway deaths in recent years, but as soon as the campaigns stopped the numbers came back up.

The most common victims were toddlers aged 1 to 3.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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