The wreckage of the car the baby girl was in. Photo /
The death of an unrestrained 12-week-old baby girl who
was thrown from her mother's lap in a car accident has shocked
a child advocacy group.
The baby died from her injuries at Starship children's
hospital early yesterday.
She was sitting on her mother's lap in the back seat of a
Honda hatchback that slid across SH4 and hit a bank south of
Te Kuiti on Monday about 8.30am.
All six passengers in the five-seater car, including the baby
girl's 3-year-old sibling, were wearing restraints - except
for the infant, whose car seat was later found by police in
The crash is one of a string of accidents which has marred
Road Safety Week.
Waikato district road policing manager Inspector Freda Grace
said the most tragic aspect of the baby's death was its
"Police staff located a car seat unused in the car's boot
that possibly could have prevented the baby suffering the
critical injuries," she said.
"Sadly, with so many people in the car there wasn't room to
Safekids director Ann Weaver said she was shocked that
parents were not heeding the law and agencies such as her
own, and the likes of police, Plunket and the NZ Transport
Agency which were trying to promote a message of child safety
in cars, were still not getting through.
"It's been proven over and over again how well a car
restraint can save a child in a crash and I just don't
understand how parents cannot continue to protect their
"We are still seeing these cases of injury or death as a
result of someone not thinking it could happen to them."
It is not clear whether anyone will face criminal charges as
a result of the baby's death.
"It is a police issue. However, we do have a law that says
children have to be in an appropriate car restraint until
they are 7," Ms Weaver said.
"Looking at it from the child's perspective, they have the
right to be protected ... and that's what we need to advocate
in incidents like this."
The little girl's death came on the day a 22-year-old woman
was killed near Ohaupo, south of Hamilton, when her
northbound yellow Mazda car crossed the centreline and
collided with three southbound vehicles including a truck.
The woman was the sole occupant and died at the scene while
another person from one of the vehicles was taken to Waikato
Hospital with minor to moderate injuries.
In Hawkes Bay on Monday, 25-year-old Hina Kerei Johnson
Hamahona died after smashing through a crash barrier
protecting the approach to a bridge near Havelock North. Mr
Hamahona is believed to have made a final telephone call to
his family while trapped in the wreckage.
On Sunday, brother and sister Shannon and Danielle Kiriau
died in a high-speed accident in Dunedin in which none of the
back-seat passengers was wearing seatbelts.
Monday 5.50pm: Woman dies on SH3 near Hamilton after crossing
into oncoming traffic while overtaking.
Monday 8.30am: Unrestrained baby thrown from mother's lap in
crash on SH4 near Te Kuiti. The baby died yesterday.
Monday 4.15am: Hina Hamahona dies after smashing through a
crash barrier near Havelock North.
Sunday, 3.30pm: Woman dies after being hit by a reversing
Sunday 3.15am: Shannon and Danielle Kiriau die in high-speed
accident in Dunedin.
- James Ihaka, NZ Herald