Iraia Morgan, 8, with brother Te Koha Waimotu-Dingle, 5, who was run over at school on Friday. PHOTOS/GIANINA SCHWANECKE
A five-year-old boy at Kahutara Primary School is lucky to have escaped serious injury after being accidentally run over by a van at the school on Friday.
But the incident has prompted a mother to remove her two sons and a daughter from the school.
Te Koha Waimotu-Dingle was attempting to jump into a moving van used to transport a pupil with disabilities at the school when he fell from the open door and was run over during the school’s lunchtime break.
A registered nurse at the school checked Te Koha over before his father picked him up and took him to hospital.
He suffered scrapes and bruises along the left side of his body, and an x-ray later found a cracked bone below his knee, which is expected heal on its own.
His mother Zjene Waimotu-Dingle said he was “very lucky to be alive” and said her “heart just dropped” when she got the phone call on Friday from the school.
“It’s the last thing I thought I’d hear. His siblings were just bawling their eyes out when I picked them up later.”
Te Koha’s eight-year-old brother Iraia Morgan and two other pupils were in the van when the incident occurred.
She questioned what the boys were doing in the van and how the school was not aware that rides to and from the school gate were being given by the van’s driver.
“What were they doing there in the first place?”
The children had only been enrolled since the start of the year, but Waimotu-Dingle was so upset by the incident that she decided to pull them from the school.
“That trust is gone,” she said.
Kahutara Primary School principal Charmaine Taplin said the incident was “very unfortunate”.
She said they’d be reviewing the school’s safety processes and had provided support to the family and other pupils.
“Our main concern is the little boy and his family.”
Taplin said the driver of the van was not employed by the school and it would wait for a police investigation to be completed before making further comment.
A spokesperson for police confirmed they were called to the scene shortly after 1.15pm on Friday and an investigation was under way.
The two brothers and their 11-year-old sister have now been enrolled at Featherston School and are due to return to school on Monday.