A five-and-a-half week old baby who died after a car crash in South Canterbury has been named as Amadeus Tutunoa of Timaru.

Amadeus died at Timaru Hospital late on Wednesday night after being admitted with critical injuries sustained in the crash on State Highway 1 near Pareora at 12.30pm that day.

Police confirmed today the infant was in a rear-facing child restraint on the back seat behind the driver. The car he was struck on the driver's side by another vehicle.

At this stage there are no immediate safety concerns identified in relation to the child restraint, police said. The death has been referred to the coroner.


Parents are recommended to place baby capsules in the centre of a car's back seat.

The police investigation into the crash is continuing and all information "will be forwarded to the coroner", said Senior Sergeant Mike van der Heyden from Waimate police.

Amadeus' 28-year-old father, 27-year-old mother and siblings aged 2 and 4 were also in the car. They were assessed at hospital for minor injuries but discharged the same day.

It is understood the mother was driving.

Mr van der Heyden said it was too early to say whether charges might be laid.

The 49-year-old driver of the other vehicle was unharmed.