POLICE

Unrestrained child in car during crash, driver charged

Sunday 24 April 2022, 4:48PM
By New Zealand Police
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TAUPO

Police investigating a 'hit and run' crash in Taupō  yesterday evening located four young people in the offending vehicle, including an unrestrained four-year-old child.

The car, a Nissan Bluebird, had initially been driven from Napier to Taupō yesterday afternoon.

The 17-year-old driver was accompanied by two 16-year-olds and a four-year-old.

A Police unit observed the car when it arrived in Taupō and signalled for it to stop at about 6.15pm, however it fled from the officers.

Subsequent reports from the public indicated the car had driven along the footpath on Lake Terrace to overtake other vehicles.

Just before 6.30pm Police received information the car had collided with another vehicle at the intersection of Kaimanawa Street and Te Heuehu Street.

The elderly driver of the other vehicle sustained moderate injuries. 

"The Nissan has then allegedly left the crash site, and our staff have successfully located it on Rickit Street at which time we came to learn the ages of those in the vehicle, and the fact the young child had travelled a significant distance and been in a crash - all while unrestrained," says Inspector Chris Summerville.

"This is certainly a situation where there could have been a more serious outcome.

We are alarmed at both the dangerous nature of the driving, and the fact a very young child was in the car and not secured in a car seat."

The 17-year-old driver has been charged with a number of offences including reckless driving, failing to stop to ascertain injury, failing to stop when followed by red/blue flashing lights and possession of an offensive weapon.

He is due to appear in the Rotorua Youth Court next week.

Meanwhile Taupō Police located a car seat and drove the four-year-old to Rotorua to reunite the child with whānau.