Hit-and-run driver fronts up

KAT DUGGAN
Last updated 09:02 13/06/2014
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A 12-year-old girl was hit by a car on a pedestrian crossing in Blenheim.

Deisha Graham
DEREK FLYNN/FAIRFAX NZ
SORRY PLEASE: Deisha Graham, 12, and her mum Leana Hoeta would like an apology from a driver who drove away after knocking Deisha over at a crossing on Wednesday. The pair stand next to the crossing, in Seymour St.

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 The driver of the car that sent a girl on a pedestrian crossing flying has come forward, police say. 

A police spokeswoman said the man contacted police and identified himself as the driver of the car who knocked over a 12-year-old schoolgirl in Blenheim on Wednesday.

Blenheim mother Leana Hoeta yesterday pleaded with the driver of the blue sedan to take responsibility for the hit-and-run.

Her daughter, Deisha Graham, a pupil at Bohally Intermediate, was making her way across Seymour St, between Countdown and the Marlborough District Library, when she was hit by the car about 4.15pm on Wednesday.

She was knocked into the air and landed on the footpath about half a metre away.

The incident was captured on closed-circuit television. The driver, believed to be an elderly man, stopped only briefly.

Senior Sergeant Dan Mattison, of Blenheim, said last night police had received some information in relation to the driver, but they were hoping more witnesses would come forward.

Deisha said she was "angry and sad" he had not stopped, and would "tell him to use his eyes properly" if she had a chance to speak to him.

"We saw that the car had stopped because there were other people that had crossed the road so I went to quickly go over and I got nearly to the end and he just bumped into me."

She had been confused following the accident, she said.

Her half-brother and sister ran to make sure she was OK, before carrying her back to the car in the Countdown carpark.

Her uncle, Tyron Phillips, saw the incident from his car, and thought the driver might have driven away because Deisha's sister waved to him. "Maybe because [she] waved out, he probably thought she was waving to him to say she was OK."

Hoeta and Phillips said the driver should have stopped out of courtesy.

Deisha and her siblings did not have time to react properly, Hoeta said. "I think they might have been a bit shocked and they didn't react as quick as other people would have."

By the time the trio realised what had happened, the driver had already gone.

Phillips drove Deisha to Wairau Hospital, where she was treated for grazes and bruising to her hand and knee, and discharged.

Deisha would be more wary of cars when crossing the road, and would ensure they had seen her before stepping onto the road, even when using a pedestrian crossing, she said.

Her uncle said the incident had made them more aware of how many drivers ignored the rules at pedestrian crossings.

Police thanked members of the public who provided information about the incident.

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- The Marlborough Express

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