Police cordoned off the area around the driveway in which
18-month-old Mila Tamihana was fatally injured. Photo: NZ
An 18-month-old girl found with fatal injuries in the
driveway of her West Auckland home was hit by a car - but
police say it is not yet known who was driving it.
Mila Tamihana, described by a family member as a "beautiful
little angel", was found severely injured in the driveway of
a Cartmel Ave, Massey, home at 12.37pm yesterday.
She lived there with her parents, Camita Broughton and Chadaz
Tamihana, and her four sisters.
Police said family members found Mila and took her to
Doctors tried to revive the toddler, but her condition
deteriorated quickly and she died.
Police investigating Mila's death said it could take days to
establish what happened.
Detective Sergeant Eugene Pickett said last night it was
unclear why Mila was in the driveway, who hit her and with
"At this stage we're speaking with family and neighbours,
some of whom are understandably too distressed to speak to us
Mila's grandfather, Harry Tamihana, last night said the
family were distraught.
"Mum is blaming herself for not looking, but we don't know
what happened, the police are investigating ... With this
shared driveway it is really hard to turn around."
Mr Tamihana said Mila's aunt had taken her off the driveway
earlier in the day.
Mila was the youngest of five daughters, the oldest aged 8.
"Mila was such a burst of sunshine. She's such a big part of
our family. I would get here and she had such a strong voice
and would come running out and greet me."
Mr Tamihana said everyone should take extreme care with
children in driveways and around cars.
"You can't be vigilant enough. She was the youngest of five
and now there is just four."
Ms Broughton and Mr Tamihana share the Y-shaped driveway with
Police would not say where in the driveway Mila was found, or
where they thought she was hit.
She could have been in her family's section, the neighbours'
or the shared part of the drive.
Safekids director Ann Weaver said Mila's death was tragic.
She said the only way to prevent further deaths was to keep
pushing the safety message.
"When we run a big campaign and talk about this a lot, the
statistics tend to decrease," she said.
"But when it's forgotten for a while, then it starts
happening again. What we have to do is continue to keep this
in the forefront of people's minds."
Each year, at least five children die as a result of being
hit by cars in driveways, and a child is hospitalised with
injuries each week.
Mila's parents were too distraught to speak about her death
They were being supported by a police iwi liaison officer and
Ms Broughton's sister, Aleishah, posted a message on Facebook
hours after Mila died.
"Rest in peace our beautiful little angel Mila," she wrote.
"Aunty can't describe the pain and hurt we are all going
through, especially your mummy and daddy and four sisters.
"Honey, God has called you home too soon ... I feel numb, in
shock, upset ... Your cousins are going to miss you like
Aleishah Broughton posted a second message soon after,
apparently taking exception to people making comments about
her sister's care of Mila.
"My sister is the best mother out. You don't know the full
Neighbours did not know of the tragedy until police arrived.
Mrs Weaver said the "glorious" weather meant many people were
leaving doors open, which increased the chance of tragedy.
"It's very easy for a child to run outside so quickly,
without you realising they have disappeared."