Injured child incorrectly restrained

Last updated 10:02 09/06/2014

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A child seriously hurt in a Dunedin crash last night may not have been appropriately restrained, police say.

The 5-year-old girl was taken to Dunedin Hospital with internal injuries after a head-on crash at Green Island about 5.53pm.

The vehicle she was travelling in was hit by a car, allegedly driven by a 91 year-old woman going the wrong way in the southbound lane of Dunedin's southern motorway.

Dunedin police Senior Sergeant Al Dickie said it appeared the girl was not in a booster seat and restrained by a lap belt, and that could be why she received serious internal injuries.

The law said a driver: "must make sure that any child under seven years of age is properly restrained by an approved child restraint that is appropriate for the age and size of the child. They must not travel in the car if you can't put them in an approved child restraint. The vehicle's safety belt on its own is not an approved child restraint."

Dickie said the car carrying the family of three was behind a four-wheel-drive travelling south in the left-hand lane and there was another car in the right-hand lane.

The driver of the vehicle that was hit by the elderly woman's car may not have been able to see she was coming towards them because it was initially behind a larger vehicle which moved to another lane before the crash.

"The front two vehicles parted and the woman's car came through and hit."

Police received several calls saying there was a car travelling north in the southbound lane before last night's crash but "got here too late". The driver went the wrong way up a motorway off ramp and on to the highway, Dickie said.

Police inquiries would today focus on why. 

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