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A 4-year-old boy was saved by his child seat when a car and full milk tanker collided on State Highway 1 near Palmerston yesterday, police say.
"The 4-year-old was in a child seat and restrained, and I would without a doubt say that has saved him from serious injury or worse," Senior Constable Stefan Witehira, of Palmerston, said.
The boy's father (25) was next to him in the back seat of the car, driven by the man's 54-year-old mother. His 65-year-old father was the front seat passenger.
All occupants, from Christchurch, were wearing seat belts.
The boy's father had a non-life threatening head injury.
Snr Const Witehira said the driver had a sprained ankle and her husband was not injured.
The tanker driver was "shaken" but not injured.