Girl hit by vehicle in 'very unfortunate accident'

A 9-year-old girl is in hospital with face and leg injuires after being hit by an SUV  while crossing the road to the school bus in Speargrass Flat.

Police described the incident yesterday morning as a "very unfortunate accident''.

The girl is in Dunedin Hospital in a moderate to serious condition with face and leg injuries.

Sergeant Steve Watt, of Queenstown, said some children were waiting about 8.30am for the school bus at a bus shelter on the corner of Hunter and Mooney Rds.

A car was parked near the bus stop and the children were talking to some other children in a car.

The bus was running late and when the 9-year-old, who was outside the car on the passenger side, saw it come over the rise of the hill she ran to the other side of the road to where it would stop.

However, as she ran out from beside the parked car, she was hit by an SUV travelling in the opposite direction to the bus.

Sgt Watt said witness accounts ''certainly suggest'' that the driver of the vehicle which struck the girl had little chance of avoiding her.

''He was visibly shaken, as you could imagine.''

The driver was driving at below the 80kmh speed limit, Sgt Watt said.

The girl was taken to Lakes District Hospital with moderate to severe facial and leg injuries, St John Central Otago territory manager Kelvin Perriman said.

A helicopter from Dunedin with intensive care staff on board was sent to collect the girl and she was flown to Dunedin Hospital later in the morning.

Police inquiries were continuing, Sgt Watt said, but ''early indications'' were that the driver was not at fault.