TOD­DLER’S PAR­ENTS IN MERCY DASH

A tragic ac­ci­dent, say po­lice

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - GREG STOLZ, TALISA ELEY AND EMILY HAL­LO­RAN

THE par­ents of a tod­dler run over and killed by a taxi on the Sovereign Is­lands yesterday were rush­ing back from a trip to Pa­pua New Guinea to deal with the tragedy.

The 13-month-old died in­stantly af­ter he was struck by a maxi-taxi in a quiet cul-de­sac in the ex­clu­sive sub­urb about 10.30am.

As the boy’s par­ents make a des­per­ate dash back to Aus­tralia, po­lice con­tinue to re­view se­cu­rity cam­era footage from the ve­hi­cle and neigh­bour­ing homes.

THE par­ents of a tod­dler run over and killed by a taxi on Sovereign Is­lands yesterday were rush­ing back from a trip to Pa­pua New Guinea to deal with the tragedy.

The 13-month-old died in­stantly af­ter he was struck by a maxi-taxi in a quiet cul-de­sac in the ex­clu­sive sub­urb about 10.30am.

As the boy’s par­ents make a des­per­ate dash back to Aus­tralia, po­lice con­tinue to re­view se­cu­rity cam­era footage from the ve­hi­cle and neigh­bour­ing homes.

His aunt had been car­ing for the boy and his three sib­lings, all aged un­der 12, while the chil­dren’s par­ents were away.

It is be­lieved the aunt was pay­ing the cab driver when the lit­tle boy ran back across the road to­wards her. He was hit by the taxi.

The aunt was in­con­solable, cradling the child’s life­less body in her arms, sob­bing.

Both she and the taxi driver, a 32-year-old man were taken to hos­pi­tal suf­fer­ing shock.

The Gold Coast Bul­letin un­der­stands the fam­ily were PNG ex-pats, and had been rent­ing the Ex­cal­ibur Crt home for less than a year.

“The taxi driver is be­side him­self,” po­lice said.

Queens­land Am­bu­lance Ser­vice’s Luke Wy­att said of the tod­dler: “Un­for­tu­nately, his in­juries were non-sur­viv­able and we didn’t at­tempt re­sus­ci­ta­tion.

“It was a very emo­tional scene and we trans­ported both the aunty and the driver to hos­pi­tal.

“This an ab­so­lute tragedy at any time of the year, let alone just be­fore Christ­mas. It’s the sort of job no-one wants to go to and it has af­fected all of us.”

A man who wit­nessed the tragedy, Dane Axsel, said the screams of hor­ror at the scene were “relentless”.

“I’m still in shock – this is some­thing you can’t un­see,” he told me­dia.

“The cab was just rolling for­ward re­ally slowly – he wouldn’t have seen the child, he couldn’t have.”

Fam­i­lies said they of­ten saw the chil­dren play­ing in the street, and were shaken by the lit­tle boy’s death.

Po­lice said there was no sug­ges­tion it was any more than a “tragic” ac­ci­dent.

Gold Coast Cabs ex­ec­u­tive gen­eral man­ager Ben­jamin Lee said the com­pany was dev­as­tated.

“Gold Coast Cabs wishes to of­fer its sin­cere con­do­lences to the child’s fam­ily,” he said. “We will con­tinue to work closely with the po­lice in their in­ves­ti­ga­tion and sup­port the driver in­volved.”

Pic­ture: NIGEL HALLETT

A child has died af­ter be­ing run over by a taxi in a tragic ac­ci­dent at Ex­cal­ibur Crt, Sovereign Is­lands, yesterday.

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