A devastated grandfather has spoken of his heartbreak at seeing his two-year-old grandson run over and killed on his driveway.
Brody Whiunui was hit by a van in Orpheus Pl, Papakura, at the home of his grandfather, Raymond Collins, 48, about 7.30pm last night.
"Everybody is blaming themselves, I should have done this, I could have done that, shouldn't have been there," a grieving Collins said this morning.
He spoke in front of his state house, down a quiet cul-de-sac, as family and neighbours mourned nearby.
"My kids, the mokos, are safe here, they are always watched, and unfortunately, he was just... he shouldn't have been there.
"I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.
"Whatever you write about my moko, it was not even dumb luck... You can be as vigilant as humanly possible and it will never be enough.
"I've got 13 grandchildren...only 12 now."
Collins said the family were shocked at some media reports the family had been having a party.
He said Brody's family were visiting his grandmother, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Some had been drinking beer, he said, but the driver had been breath-tested at the police station and passed.
"He was on the blind side and in the wrong place... damn shit luck. I don't want to use the term, but it was a tragic accident. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Little Brody was "brilliant" Collins said.
"He was only two, but he was the most intelligent two-year-old I've ever known in my life. He used to run rings around me, and I consider myself clever.
"He made an impact on everybody, he was a lovely kid.
"He had his whole life in front of him and he was already in fifth gear at the age of two."
Collins said the family had dealt with a lot of deaths recently, but this was the worst.
"I lost my mum, and it didn't hurt me as much as this, this is killing us."
The police serious crash unit is investigating the boy's death.
Last week Safekids New Zealand, the national child injury prevention service, said spring and summer were the trauma seasons with a high rate of driveway injuries.
"Every two weeks a child is hospitalised with serious injuries received from a vehicle driving on a private driveway in New Zealand," Safekids director Ann Weaver said.
"A further five children are killed annually, on average.
"Children at risk are aged between one and three years old.
"Sadly parents and close relatives are most often at the wheel," she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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