A 5-year-old Australian boy has been rushed to hospital with critical injuries after he was hit by a wheel that flew off an allegedly unregistered ute performing a burnout north of Brisbane.
Queensland Police say the boy "suffered life-threatening head injuries" as a result of the incident at the intersection of King St and Morayfield Rd in Caboolture at 4.30pm on Wednesday.
The 18-year-old driver was arrested at the scene and has been charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle causing grievous bodily harm, driving unlicensed, driving unregistered, offences involving registration certificate, and safe but otherwise defective vehicle.
It's alleged a blue Ford Falcon was stationary when the driver began to spin its tyres as the lights turned green.
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Police further allege the rear passenger side wheel then dislodged from the ute and struck the child who was walking with his family along the footpath outside a shopping centre.
The boy was taken to Queensland Children's Hospital in a serious condition. By Thursday morning his condition had improved and he was in a stable condition, a hospital spokesman confirmed.
The teenager is due to appear in Pine Rivers Magistrates Court on Thursday.
The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating and are "urgently appealing" for anyone who may have footage of the incident to come forward.