Driver thought the worst when boy struck car

Last updated 05:00 27/11/2012
Cullen Tidy, 8,  was knocked off his scooter by his friend’s mum, Jan Crafts
OUCH: Cullen Tidy, 8, was knocked off his scooter by his friend’s mum, Jan Crafts, pictured. 

Relevant offers


Six dead under 25 in three months - Kaitaia looks for mental health solutions Prison visitor found with 24 'tinnies' at Springhill New kitchen, building tools and dive tanks worth $100k recovered by police Deluge of dresses amazes school as Patea students prepare for first ball in 24 years Mayoral hopeful Paula Southgate says Hamilton needs a Housing Accord Invercargill City Council's Christmas lights from China non-compliant with New Zealand standards Woman facing drug charges after bust Pledge to improve safety near Victoria University campus after assaults reported Invercargill City Library's 'synchronised book shelving' a hit during Rio Olympics Crash in Dome Valley north of Auckland causes traffic headache

As she looked at her friend's son lying face down in a bush, Jan Crafts thought she had killed him.

"He was just very quiet. There was no sound coming from him," she said.

Then Cullen Tidy, 8, began to whimper. Blood was streaming from his mouth and he started shivering as shock set in.

Mrs Crafts had been driving to pick up her 9-year-old son Jack, who was playing with Cullen at his home in Cottonwood Close, Paraparaumu, on Friday afternoon.

She was only metres from her destination when Cullen "came shooting out [from a driveway] on his scooter and hit the car".

"It was just as quick as anything," Mrs Crafts said.

She remembers hearing her own son screaming before she got out of her car and saw Cullen in the bush.

"My initial thought was that I'd killed him."

Cullen was flown to Wellington Hospital by the Westpac rescue helicopter and was treated for injuries that were initially reported as serious.

So when the Paraparaumu Beach School pupil emerged from hospital the next day, Mrs Crafts could not believe it.

He lost two teeth, had a deep cut on his leg and suffered some nasty grazes.

"To be honest, I was completely amazed."

Cullen is no stranger to hospitals, having been born premature along with his twin sister, Brooke. He spent his first nine months in hospital because of complications with his lungs. When he was finally allowed home, he spent three years on oxygen.

Since then he had been admitted to hospital twice with bronchiolitis.

"This is the healthiest we've ever been in hospital, which is quite ironic when you've just been hit by a car," his mother, Clare Pringle, said yesterday.

Cullen is already back on his scooter, but remembers little of the accident. His mother said he was very lucky not to be more seriously injured.

He would need to return to hospital for an operation to remove the nerve endings of his damaged teeth. He would also need dental treatment to replace the adult teeth he had lost, she said.

Mrs Crafts said the accident was a timely reminder about how quickly incidents could unfold on suburban streets. She had been driving slowly, knowing Cottonwood Close - a cul-de-sac near Paraparaumu College - was often bustling with children, but she had little time to react when Cullen appeared.

"I think he hit the car before I even realised. If I'd been going even 20kmh or 30kmh, I'm sure he wouldn't be around."

Ad Feedback

Police had told her she would not face charges over the incident, she said.

- The Dominion Post

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content