Courier firm quiet after toddler hit by van

The courier driver who ran over a Hawke's Bay toddler yesterday is still working for the company with extra support today.

Georgia Heremia, 17 months old, is in a critical but stable condition at Starship hospital in Auckland after being run over by a Post Haste courier van delivering a package to the Flaxmere home yesterday.

Dean Bracewell, managing director of Freightways, which owns Post Haste Couriers, said the driver was still employed.

"The courier driver is still working for us yes, and he is with a support person today.''

He said Post Haste contacted the police yesterday when the company found out about the accident.

"We're naturally very upset that we were involved in an incident like that.... The police asked that we communicate via them at this stage, so we have via the police offered whatever help and assistance to the family that we are able to provide.

He said the company was following police advice and was leaving it to the force to investigate the incident.

Georgia's grandmother Rosie Gillies, who was looking after her at the time, said today she hadn't heard any messages of support from the delivery company.

"I don't even know [the driver's] name. I didn't get his name.''

She said the package was sitting unopened outside her house.

Ms Gillies was outside looking after the toddler and two other grandchildren when the Post Haste delivery van arrived around 10.30am yesterday.

"My daughter and I had just got home from town yesterday and I had a courier parcel delivered here.

"He took the parcel out of the van and I lifted it around the corner into the carport, not realising my granddaughter was outside with me. I didn't see what happened. It was just 10 minutes.''

She said her granddaughter had either crawled under or was next to the van when it started reversing out of the driveway, but she wasn't sure as she didn't see the accident happen.

The 17-month-old was picked up and handed back to Ms Gillies by the van driver, "not knowing she was in a lot of pain''.

"She couldn't breathe, and she was sort of going to sleep on me. She had a big bruise on her left leg.''

Ms Gillies rushed her to Hawkes Bay Regional Hospital, where she was found to have a crushed liver and internal bleeding.

Following an operation to try and halt the bleeding, Georgia was transferred to Auckland's Starship hospital.

"My son rang this morning to say she's in a stable condition and they are going to do some more tests today to see if she's OK.''

"I don't know whether they're going to operate again because her internal bleeding has stopped at the moment.''

Hastings Sergeant Clint Adamson said it was believed the toddler was in front of the van when she was hit.

"[Georgia] managed to walk down the driveway from the rear of the open carport where she was playing, without being seen and has wandered in front of the van.''

"Unfortunately the driver didn't see the girl and has hit her, felt the bump and stopped.''

It was the second driveway accident involving small children in two weeks.

On August 22, Kingston Mauheni died after being run over by his mother's car in their Gisborne driveway.

The mother was understood to have pushed her car forward onto the toddler after trying to remove a toy motorbike wedged under the car's rear tyre.

 

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