'Drugged' driver allegedly hit boy

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 13:55 11/07/2013
Ford Fribbens
IAIN McGREGOR/Fairfax NZ

SORE BUT ALIVE: Halswell School pupil Ford Fribbens is recovering well after being hit by a car while on a cycle-safety course.

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The woman who allegedly hit a Christchurch schoolboy while he was on a cycle-safety course was under the influence of drugs when the crash happened, police say.

Halswell School pupil Ford Fribbens had stopped at a kerb in Sabys Rd about noon on May 22 when he was hit from behind by a car, in front of his horrified classmates.

Ford, who was aged 10 at the time, was taken to Christchurch Hospital with a broken leg and grazes to his knees and elbows.

Canterbury road policing manager Inspector Al Stewart said a female driver failed a compulsory impairment test (CIT) after the crash, and a blood sample was taken.

The sample returned a positive result for tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in cannabis, and sleeping pills.

The woman will be charged with driving under the influence of drugs.

Maria Fribbens said her son was recovering well, although he was disappointed that he would miss a class trip to a skifield this month.

"It's not only just the accident, it's actually what snowballs after that," she said.

"It's a mother's worst nightmare to hear those words that her son has been in an accident."

Ford had his cast removed last week but would be on crutches for another four weeks, she said.

He was off school for almost two weeks after the crash and was lucky not to need surgery, but was still shaken by the incident.

"He is actually still quite scared, forever looking back to see if a car is coming," she said.

Stewart said the incident highlighted the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs - either illegal, those prescribed for someone else, or "worse still, a combination of both".

"[It] could have resulted in a much worse outcome. We were lucky here that this young guy on his bike or any of the other children or road users weren't more seriously hurt."

Canterbury police had carried out about 60 CITs since the law came in on November 1, 2009, and almost all had come back positive, he said.

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- The Press

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