Father of run-over toddler warns other parents

The father who ran over and killed his 21-month-old daughter in the driveway of their Waikato home on Monday has warned parents how easily and quickly such accidents can occur.

Daniel Thompson was leaving for work on a building job with colleagues about 1.30pm when he accidentally hit his daughter Isabella while backing out of his driveway in Whatawhata.

Isabella, and son Karlos, 5, were waving goodbye to him as he left, he told The New Zealand Herald.

Mr Thompson said he checked Isabella and Karlos were safe and in view before driving away.

But in the time it took to buckle his seatbelt and his colleagues to get in the car, Isabella had darted in beside the van.

Backing out, he felt a "little bump". He knew something was wrong when he saw his son Karlos crying.

"I'm not saying it wasn't my fault but I couldn't see her," the distraught father said.

"It's a bloody terrible thing ... that was my baby girl.

"You just can't be too sure. I reckon putting them inside the house is probably the best thing because you can never assume anything with children.

"You can never take it for granted that they're safe ... I just want people to be aware of this. I always was aware of it. Well, I thought I was."

Isabella's funeral would be held tomorrow.

Another child was knocked over in a driveway yesterday morning, in Bowentown, 7km southeast of Waihi Beach.

The 21-month-old girl suffered serious head injuries after she was run over by the car leaving a kohanga reo at the marae about 8.15am.

She was taken to Starship Hospital in a serious but not life threatening condition, Sergeant Dave Litton of Waihi police said.

NZPA