Police are urging motorists to take extra care during peak traffic periods after a 10-year-old boy was killed when crossing the road on his way to school in Whangārei.
Officers investigating the fatality on Kamo Rd yesterday are still piecing together exactly what happened but it was a timely reminder to be particularly vigilant during rush hour, police said.
Inspector Chris McLellan, who was at the scene, said the tragedy on Kamo Rd happened about 8.10am after the boy had been to a dairy and was crossing the road when he collided with a northbound truck.
He said a number of people rushed to help the boy but he died at the scene.
"There are a whole lot of little people sharing our roads and crossing the road at different locations and not all are using pedestrian crossings," McLellan said.
"A lot of these roads are main arterial roads into the city and are congested at certain times. Drivers have to be conscious of our little people and the messaging around crossing the road safely."
He said the scene was blessed twice, once with the emergency service workers abut 9am and then again when members of the boy's family arrived just before 10am.
"Our love goes out to the family," McLellan said.
He said police were supporting the family through the traumatic incident and the school the boy attended was also receiving support.
The truck involved had been seized by police and would undergo forensic examination as was the procedure for fatal crashes.
Deputy principal Irene Kelly confirmed the student had attended Whau Valley School.
"Our thoughts are with the family and friends at this time," she said.
Kelly said students and staff were receiving support yesterday and the school had remained open.
Hora Hora Primary School principal Pat Newman offered his support posting on Facebook:
"There is nothing worse for a school community ... spare a thought for the principal who is at this moment leading his school staff, kids, parents through this horrible accident. Arohanui Steve and the community of Whau Valley School."
A Fulton Hogan spokesman confirmed a Fulton Hogan truck was involved.
"The truck was en route through Kamo Rd on its way to a construction site several kilometres away," he said.
It was being followed by a second truck belonging to the company and was transporting a tractor.
"Our thoughts and sympathy are with the family of the child, and we are supporting our driver of the truck at this tragic time."
The fatality happened only metres away from Patel's Food Market.
The store owner declined to comment about the crash - only saying it was tragic. The owner of the Burgundy Rose Motel on the other side of Kamo Rd said he was alerted to the crash when he heard sirens but he did not want to make any more comments.
About 10m from where the boy crossed the road work is being carried out on building a pedestrian crossing with lights which is part of the Whangārei District Council's shared path project.
Officers investigating the crash believe there were a number of witnesses who may have not yet spoken to police about what happened.
Police would like to hear from anyone who saw the crash happen or anyone who was in the area immediately prior to or after the crash.
If you can help contact Acting Sergeant Conan Brown at Whangārei Police on 09 430 4500.
The fatal brings Northland's road toll for the year so far to 13.
Meanwhile, a 24-year-old pedestrian suffered minor injuries when he was hit by a truck on Oruru Rd, at Peria in the Far North, about 9.15am yesterday. He was taken to Kaitaia Hospital by St John Ambulance.