Girl hit at bus stop makes good recovery

JOHN EDENS
Last updated 05:00 09/07/2014
Ngapuhi Kraus
PETER KRAUS
ON THE MEND: Ngapuhi Kraus at Te Papa in Wellington at the weekend.

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A Wakatipu schoolgirl hit by a ute at a bus stop is recovering well.

Ngapuhi Kraus, 8, was badly hurt at the Dalefield bus stop on April 10 when she ran out in front of a ute, as a group of parents and children including her brother waited for the bus near Arrowtown.

Ngapuhi spent two days in intensive care and more than a week in Dunedin Hospital.

Since April she has undergone rehabilitation in Dunedin. Her parents, Peter and Charline, decided to move back to the Bay of Islands to access medical services. Peter Kraus said his daughter had a broken leg and a badly damaged jaw but she was well on the road to recovery.

"The service at the hospital, the empathy was extraordinary. An injury like that [a broken jaw] it always takes some time. We're very grateful that she's alive."

Kraus said the accident was unfortunate and many of the other children that attended Arrowtown Primary School with his daughter, as well as witnesses, parents and teachers, needed support afterwards. Residents raised concerns about the 80kmh route and the Queenstown Lakes District Council commissioned an independent report, which recommended the authority consider building another shelter opposite the existing one.

A council-commissioned crash report said there was no time for the driver to avoid a collision.

"[This way] pedestrians are able to cross in their own time and wait on the correct side of the road, rather than wait on the opposite side of the road and have only a small window to cross when the bus is approaching."

Council chief engineer Ulrich Glasner said the authority was considering additional "Children crossing" signs and roadside markings to guide youngsters. The council is also considering building a second shelter, subject to budget and consultation.

"The bus route won't be changed because investigation has shown that would only shift the problem by making other stops more dangerous."

The crash report said the driver had little or no time to brake when the girl ran in front of his ute.

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- The Southland Times

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