NEIGHBOURS fought back tears as they reacted to the news a toddler was hit and killed by a four-wheel-drive backing out of a driveway on Sydney’s upper north shore.
The 20-month-old suffered fatal head injuries after he walked behind and was hit by a Toyota Kluger reversing out of a driveway in Wahroonga, on Friday, just before 2pm, police said.
He was rushed to the Sydney Adventist Hospital nearby before being transferred to Westmead Children’s Hospital but died later died from his injuries.
Investigators sealed off parts of the road as they looked into the circumstances of the accident in the short but steep driveway.
Police confirmed a woman was driving the blue Toyota Kluger, which remained in the driveway next to a backyard trampoline. It is believed to be the child’s mother.
“Liability is still being determined at the end of the day it’s an accident for the Coroner to determine,” Acting Inspector Andrew Ryabovitch said.
Family members at the scene this morning said the father had sent them a text message about the accident.
“He said the son was no more,” a family member said.
“I feel terribly for that family, feel terribly for that mother, she will never get over that, killing her own child, ever,” Diane McKeand, who took the family to SANS hospital, said.
“She was covered in blood and the baby was covered in blood. She was hysterical and I knew I had to remain calm.”
Camilla Maxwell, who calmed the boy’s sister, said: “She’s gorgeous. She is a beautiful little girl and it was hard. She didn’t want to look at the blood. We talked about school and chocolate.”
The father runs a wedding photography business from the family home and shot a video of a family holiday to India and the Himalaya Mountains in 2012 in which the boy earned the nickname “Smily” (sic). It was narrated by his older sister Elisha.
The family, who moved into the single-storey brick home in 2008, were today supported by loved ones at the home.
One woman, Suzanne, said her son went to Warrawee Public in Turramurra with the boy’s sister.
“She had the little boy in a stroller. She was lovely, very friendly we chatted for half and hour while the kids played,” she said.
“It’s a tragedy, the worst nightmare, they’ll never get over it.”
Nadi Packo, who has lived a few doors down for 47 years, knew the family and was shocked by the news.
“Oh my God, I spoke a couple times to the lady. She has been to my door selling chocolates for the school,” she said.
“It’s very depressing because we have great grandchild only 18 months old and it worries me. Especially when it’s a neighbour, it’s dreadful.”
She described the family as “very private”.
“She was quite pleasant. I’ve seen the little boy when I went to the house,” she said.
Yesterday’s death follows a string of young children killed in and around driveways recently. Thomas McLaughlin, 4, was killed on the Central Coast by a 4WD earlier this month and two three-year-olds were killed after being hit in driveways in Parkes and in Old Guildford, also by a 4WDs in November.