Schoolgirl's foot crushed in hit and run
A loving mother's worst nightmare came in a phone call from her girl's school 8.35am.
The voice said: "Your daughter's been hit on a pedestrian crossing".
"I went, 'oh god'," Tonica King said yesterday.
"I didn't hear anything. I heard: hit by a car on the pedestrian crossing, and I didn't know if she was dead, hurt or what."
She screamed. She dropped everything, including the phone, and raced to Melville Intermediate School in her dressing gown.
The incident comes after a Waikato Times campaign for drivers to remain alert and drive safely at pedestrian crossings near schools.
Three pedestrians have also been killed this year. An 84-year-old was hit on a pedestrian crossing and pinned beneath the car at a busy shopping centre on March 26.
A 64-year-old died on Whatawhata Rd on March 6, and an 88-year-old man died after he was struck down on State Highway 1 at Karapiro.
King's 12-year-old daughter, Shayna-Grace, left home at 8.15am last Thursday.
King gave her "perfect little angel" a big kiss and told her "be careful, it's about to pour down".
Shayna-Grace turned right onto Beatty St, took two more right turns then walked down Normandy Ave.
The hit-and-run occurred on the pedestrian crossing on Ohaupo Rd, 60m north of the intersection with Normandy Ave.
Melville Intermediate School principal, David Cooke, said both the roundabout and crossing have been dangerous for years.
King said Shayna-Grace stepped out onto the north-bound lane from the traffic island expecting the approaching car to stop. It didn't.
It ran over her foot and the wing mirror crashed into her stomach and arm.
The impact fractured her foot in four places and she's now on crutches.
"The worst thing was, and what makes me angry, is the driver carried on, stopped about 200m up the road, checked its mirror with its hand then carried on - to see what hit its mirror - how bad is that?"
Shayna-Grace didn't get a look at the driver. She said the car was a silver-grey hatchback. The only hard piece of evidence against the driver was collected by Cooke.
After hearing about the incident he ran down to try to find clues. The cracked glass from the wing mirror was lying on the road. Printed on the back was Renault-Nissan.
King called the driver a mongrel.
"I mean, for goodness sake, I'm a driver, my husband's a driver, if I hit a child I would definitely stop.
"I wouldn't care how scared I am. I would stop to protect that child. But this car ran over my baby . . . didn't even put its head out and look back."
Shayna-Grace has had nightmares after the incident. Physically, she has been in shock.
"She said, 'Mummy, I thought I was dead', because all she saw was that the car looked fast."
King wants the driver found and charged.
Cooke has called for the whole traffic, safety and management system in and around the intersection to be reviewed.
"It's a dangerous roundabout with high traffic volumes," he said.
Police would like to speak with anyone who witnessed the hit-and-run as well as the driver in question. Call Hamilton Central Police Station on 858 6200.