Crash death: Baby named

MEGAN MILLER
Last updated 10:35 28/06/2013

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Police have released the name of the 4-week-old baby who died overnight yesterday from injuries sustained in a collision between a car and a 4WD on State Highway 1 south of Timaru.

He was Amadeus Tutunoa, aged 5 weeks and 3 days, of Timaru.

The baby was taken to Timaru Hospital in critical condition after the crash that occurred about 12.30pm on Wednesday.

He was one of three children and two adults in a white four-door car that had pulled off on to the southbound verge for an unknown reason, Waimate police Senior Sergeant Mike van der Heyden said.

All five were members of the same family.

The driver, a 27-year-old Timaru woman, allegedly pulled back into the travel lane into the path of a southbound red Nissan Terrano 4WD.

Police have confirmed the infant was in a rear-facing child restraint on the back seat behind the driver.

At this stage there were no immediate safety concerns identified in relation to the child restraint. These matters would be the subject of the coroner's inquiry in due course.

The woman, the baby, and the other occupants of the car, a 28-year-old Timaru man and two children, aged 2 and 4, were all taken to Timaru Hospital. The adults and two older children were later discharged.

The car contained two child car seats, and the baby was in one of them, situated behind the driver's seat, according to St Andrews police Constable Craig Hedges.

Police were hoping to interview the man and woman in the next few days to establish a clearer picture of what occurred.

It's not yet known if charges will be laid, Hedges said.

"At the end of the day, hopefully this can be a lesson for people to take care out there," he said. "It shows you how vulnerable we are in a piece of steel."

The driver of the Nissan, a 49-year-old Pareora man, walked away from the crash and went home from the scene.

"He was quite shaken up," van der Heyden said.

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- The Timaru Herald

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