Tourist tod­dler run over

Waikato Times - - Front Page - PHILLIPA YALDEN

A tod­dler vis­it­ing New Zealand with his par­ents nar­rowly missed be­ing killed af­ter he was run over in a drive­way.

The one-year-old boy was stay­ing with his par­ents at a back­pack­ers in Whanga­mata¯ on the Coro­man­del Penin­sula when he was struck by a re­vers­ing car.

The tod­dler es­caped with cuts to his head and was flown by the West­pac res­cue he­li­copter to Waikato Hospi­tal. But he came just cen­time­tres from worse in­jury – end­ing up be­neath the car and be­tween the tyres.

Se­nior Sergeant Ray Mal­colm­son, of Waikato po­lice, said the tod­dler was air­lifted in a se­ri­ous con­di­tion yes­ter­day morn­ing.

The par­ents of the in­jured tod­dler also flew with their son in the he­li­copter from the beach­side town to hospi­tal.

The fam­ily are vis­it­ing tourists from Germany. They were just a few weeks into a 10-week cy­cling jour­ney of the coun­try when their or­deal oc­curred.

The fam­ily were stay­ing at a back­pack­ers at Bev­er­ley Ter­race, Whanga­mata¯ . The boy was struck near the kerb­side at around 9.15am, Mal­colm­son said.

The par­ents were in­side their room at the time their son crawled off to the end of the drive­way, Sergeant Lara Beisly of Waikato po­lice said.

They were un­aware he had wan­dered away from their side and made it down the drive­way, just me­tres from the front of the back­pack­ers lodge.

‘‘It looked like he’d been play­ing with rocks or some­thing and has done a dis­ap­pear­ing act,’’ Beisly said.

The driver of the car, who was an­other guest at the back­pack­ers, is also from Germany.

‘‘He got into his car which was fac­ing the back­pack­ers, and re­versed out over the one-yearold,’’ Beisly said.

‘‘It was a mir­a­cle the baby went right straight through, un­der­neath, and the tyres didn’t go over him.’’

The 34-year-old driver planned to go out for a surf when he re­versed out of the drive­way. He did not re­alise the tod­dler was in his path.

He has been left shaken by the in­ci­dent, Beisly said.

Po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing but charges were not likely.

‘‘Vic­tim Sup­port are on their way to see him here,’’ she said.

By mid-af­ter­noon, the tod­dler’s con­di­tion had im­proved. He was in a sta­ble con­di­tion at hospi­tal with his par­ents.

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