A 10-year-old girl was last night in a serious condition in
hospital after being hit by a car while riding her bicycle on
a rural road - the latest in a series of bad cycling
The primary school pupil was not wearing a helmet when she
pulled out of a friend's driveway and into the path of a car
being driven by an elderly man on the 100km/h road.
The accident, which happened about 4.15pm yesterday on
Morrison Rd in Pukekawa, north Waikato, was witnessed by a
neighbour and his two children.
Another neighbour, who arrived at the scene soon after the
collision, said the girl was in a bad state, with her mother
trying to comfort her as paramedics fought to save her life.
"She wasn't responding at all. It certainly didn't look
good," she said.
"If she comes through she'll be a very very lucky girl."
The accident, which happened near a bend in the road, comes
as the Herald has been highlighting the road safety issues
for cyclists and motorists following the death of 37-year-old
John Tangiia in central Auckland this month.
The woman who arrived at the scene yesterday said:
"She wouldn't have been very far from her own house, maybe
one or two neighbours away. She's just a lovely girl."
It was the only time she had seen the girl on her bike
without her helmet, she said.
"She didn't have it on and that's very, very, very unusual
for her ... She always had the helmet on. Religiously, she
The woman, who did not want to be named, said she knew the
girl and her mother - whom she sat with on the roadside while
emergency services helped her daughter.
"She [the mother] was mainly concentrating on her wee girl
and telling her to be brave and that sort of thing."
The girl suffered head and leg injuries and was flown in the
Westpac rescue helicopter to the Starship hospital, initially
in a critical condition, about 6pm.
Her black and white bike, decorated with a single pink ribbon
at the front, remained on the side of the road last night,
while the Lexus Sedan - with a caved-in windscreen and
substantial damage to the left front - was parked just metres
away near some trees.
Senior Constable Steve Carey said the girl had pulled out of
the gravel driveway and on to the road in front of the car.
He confirmed she had not been wearing a helmet.
The Herald cycle safe series has highlighted the issues
surrounding safety for cyclists and motorists and generated
discussion over issues such as reduced speed limits in
residential and shopping areas, cycle lanes, and other
changes to make cycling safer.
Eight cyclists died in New Zealand road crashes last year,
with the same number in 2012.
- Sam Boyer and Ben Irwin of the New Zealand Herald