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A young woman dragged for more than 50 metres by a hit-and-run driver in south Auckland early today kept calling for her mum as two good Samaritans tried to comfort her.
Aki Thompson was returning home from his night shift as a truck driver when he saw what he thought was a pile of clothes in the middle of Stonex Rd, Papatoetoe, about 2.35am.
"When I got closer I realised it was a person. I stopped the car and asked if she was alright but she just kept moaning, she was in a lot of pain,'' he said.
He called emergency services and then his partner Gloria Rotohiko, who rushed to the scene from their house around the corner.
"I saw blood everywhere,'' Ms Rotohiko said.
"She was quite exposed, the back of her, so I put my little grand-nephew's baby blanket that we had in our car on top of her, just to keep her warm.
Then me and my partner were just talking to her trying to keep her awake, but she wouldn't give us a name or how old she was.
"The only thing she kept saying was she was calling out for her mum. She was just saying 'mum, mum, mum'. Those were the only clear words we could get from her. Everything else was just a mumble.''
The woman's face was badly cut and covered in blood so they could not see who she was, and she had severe injuries to her back and buttocks.
"And her clothes were all torn. Just from where the blood started, it was at least 50 _ 60m she was dragged,'' Ms Rotohiko said.
She had wanted to put flyers up around the neighbourhood to try to let the woman's family know what had happened.
"We just felt sorry for her because no one could get her name or anything. And then the police told us that she probably wouldn't last the morning.''
She was relieved to hear that police had since identified the woman, and that her condition had improved from critical to serious but stable.
The drag marks were still clearly visible on Stonex Rd this afternoon and dotted with pink police spray paint.
They began near the pavement and continued straight down the middle of the road for an estimated 80 metres.
Mr Thompson said he could not comprehend why the driver did not stop.
"How can you do that to another human being? There's no words to express it. It's just ugly.''
Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Detective Senior Sergeant Alan Symonds said the woman had been at a gathering nearby before the hit and run.
Officers had spoken to her but she could not remember anything about what had happened.
"It's a serious and traumatic incident that has left the victim with serious injuries and it would have been noticed by anyone who was driving that vehicle.''
Police appealed to anyone who may know anything to come forward.
'We believe the car involved in the incident will have damage to the exterior, such as dents to the bumper or bonnet, and possibly blood on it,'' Mr Symonds said.
Anyone with information should contact Counties Manukau Police on (09) 261 1300 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.