ZB

18-month-old dead after being struck by car

Author
NZME,
Publish Date
Tue, 5 Apr 2016, 6:29pm
(NZH)
(NZH)

18-month-old dead after being struck by car

Author
NZME,
Publish Date
Tue, 5 Apr 2016, 6:29pm

UPDATED: 8.36PM A neighbour has described the heartbreaking scene following the death of a baby boy in Otara this evening.

The 18-month-old was struck by a vehicle.

Stefan Ruta was leaving his own home when he heard a "big bang".

"That made me turn around. I saw the man, the father, running up the driveway. He was in really big shock. Another man jumped in the car and the went to the doctors.

"The mother, she was still in the house. Someone ran in to get her and she came out.  She ran down the driveway and then up to the house. She was just in a total rush."

Mr Ruta said he knew both parents, and said they were aged about 18-years-old and former pupils Sir Edmund Hillary College.

He believed the baby was their only child, Mr  Ruta said.

He had two small children of his own, and would be giving them a "big hug" tomorrow.

"I'm in shock myself. I know what happened but I didn't want to believe it. I told my sister, 'I think something happened to the baby'."

Peter Uys, principal at Sir Edmund Hillary College, told the Herald he was shocked and saddened to hear what had happened.

He said he was currently at a conference in Queenstown and did not know anything more about the incident, but wished to extend his deepest sympathies to the parents of the toddler.

“If we can support the family in any way we will try to do so.”

Sina Telea lives immediately next door and saw the immediate aftermath.

"I saw [the father] holding the baby. He was panicked. He was just running to the car."

Three generations of the family lived in the two-storey duplex home, including the baby, his parents and his paternal grandparents, she said.

"They are really good neighbours. He was such a happy baby."

Another neighbour said the baby's parents were devoted to him.

"Even though they are young, they are really good parents. You could see they loved their child.

"He used to go out to work and she was playing with the baby. I'd always see her on the trampoline with him, laughing. This is just so sad."

A woman living opposite the home said she heard a loud noise and a whole lot of yelling.

"I just saw the baby yesterday, he was a beautiful little boy."

Several police cars were parked at East Tamaki Healthcare this evening, where the boy was taken at about 5pm but died soon after.

The driver of the vehicle is helping police with their inquiries and the Counties Manukau Serious Crash Unit is investigating.

The family of the boy are being supported by police and Victim Support.

The boy's name will be released tomorrow, police said.