The driver of a recycling truck that hit and killed a 6-year-old girl is "deeply traumatised", police say.

The girl died near her home in Russell St, in the Gisborne suburb of Whataupoko shortly after 3pm yesterday.

It is the second pedestrian tragedy in Gisborne in five days.

The truck was collecting recycling materials in the street. The girl died at the scene.


Police have not yet released the name of the girl. They initially reported her as 7-years-old.

Police cordoned off the section of Russell St from Fox St to Richardson Ave and began a serious crash investigation.

"The circumstances of the accident are still under investigation at this stage," said Sergeant Trent Higgs.

"It is not clear at this stage exactly what happened.

"The driver was deeply traumatised by what happened and was treated at the scene by a crew from St John Ambulance.

"This is an absolute tragedy and police extend our condolences to the family of the little girl at this sad time."

The police cordon remained in place until about 7pm.

Several shocked onlookers spoken to by the Gisborne Herald yesterday afternoon expressed their deep sadness.

"My god. That poor family," said one woman. "This is so sad."

Several people who lived in the area expressed concern for the whereabouts of their own children and were on cellphones checking they were safe.

The girl was a student at Central School in Central St.

"Staff met the Ministry of Education trauma team at the school yesterday afternoon to work out how to manage the tragedy for the school community," principal Andy Hayward said this morning.

"Our thoughts are with the family as they process this.

"It is a very difficult time for our whole community and it is still very fresh," Hayward said.

"We have put measures in place to support everyone at school through this tragedy."

The police victim support team have been working with the girl's family.

Meanwhile, 25-year-old Jaymee Watson was farewelled this morning at a funeral service at the Showground Park Event Centre.

She died of her injuries after a crash at the Tucker and Nelson Rds corner on Friday night.

- Gisborne Herald