It was an incident that onlookers hope to never have to witness again and a story that would've surely stuck in the minds' of readers: a mother and her young daughter mowed down by runaway double-decker bus in Auckland's CBD.

On January 13, a City Sightseeing Tours bus rolled backwards down a street in Auckland CBD, running over a mother and her daughter and trapping them underneath.

The bus crashed into a construction site on the corner of Victoria and Albert St.

Speaking to Woman's Day, the lucky mum, Renee Annan, shares her experience of the horrific, but miraculous, ordeal.

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"I heard yelling and saw the bus coming down and thought, 'it's reversing', and then I saw it was going kind of fast and I started running," she told the publication.

She tried to pick up her 23-month-old daughter Āria at the same time.

"But then it hit us and there was nothing I could do," she told Woman's Day.

Renee Annan and her daughter Āria Hetaraka were walking in Auckland's CBD when they were struck by a runaway bus. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Renee Annan and her daughter Āria Hetaraka were walking in Auckland's CBD when they were struck by a runaway bus. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Annan says it felt really hot under the bus and as if they were being crushed.

"Our hands were ripped apart and I was sure we were both dead."

Once she realised she had — somehow — survived, she feared Āria was dead.

"That was the worst minute of my life," she added

The 29-year-old Auckland mum was dragged 20m down the road while under the bus but Āria was left behind in a different spot, the publication reported.

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"Luckily we were both in the middle of the bus, not under the wheels."

The runaway bus came to a stop in a roadworks area. Photo / Jason Oxenham
The runaway bus came to a stop in a roadworks area. Photo / Jason Oxenham

At the time, a witness, Satender Phogat, who works at Kebab Time on Victoria St, told the Herald about the horror of hearing a mother scream for her baby.

"I was in shock," Phogat said. "I didn't want to see what happened because she was screaming and I can't see and explain what happened..."

A child's pram can be seen behind the bus. Photo / Dean Purcell
A child's pram can be seen behind the bus. Photo / Dean Purcell

Annan is still recovering from road rash wounds on her arms and luckily, Āria escaped unscathed — apart from a few grazes and bruises, and a small bump on her head.

It's a miraculous story of survival, leaving Annan to think there must be an angelic force looking over her family.

"I'm not religious but it's kind of like angels were looking out for us."

Āria's father James said the whole incident feels like a celebration of life.

Speaking about Āria, James added, "To think she's been hit by the bus and the way she just holds herself. We're just so blessed to have her. She's our little pounamu."

READ MORE:
Runaway bus horror: Driverless double-decker injures three in Victoria St in Auckland
Auckland runaway bus: Hero worker describes rescuing run-over infant
Runaway Auckland bus horror: Workers who rescued toddler under bus called heroes
'Oh my baby, my baby was there and is under the bus': Desperate mum's cries for help after runaway bus crashes in Auckland CBD