NZ 6yo killed by truck shouldn’t have been walking alone, coroner says

Comment below this excerpt

A six-year-old girl killed by a truck outside her Gisborne home shouldn’t have been walking to school without an adult, a coroner has ruled.

Carla Neems was killed by a recycling truck outside her family’s Russell St home, as she arrived home from school on her scooter about 3pm on May 2, 2017.

Coroner Tim Scott ruled that Carla should have been accompanied by an adult on her journey home, inquest findings released today say.

Instead, Carla had two older sisters — aged 8 and 10 — and regularly travelled to and from school with them, the New Zealand Heraldreported.

However, on the day of her death she walked home with two other young children, and part of the way on her own, the report stated.

“Carla was not accompanied home from school by a responsible older person, preferably an adult and she should have been,” Coroner Scott said.


When I was a kid, about the time of Noah's ark, all kids seemed to walk to school barefoot and unaccompanied.  I certainly did from Grade 1 on.  It was probably about a mile and I did cross a main road.  I reproduce below a story from a correspondent which closely echoes my experience:

"When six years old and from my second day at school in grade prep, I walked a mile to school and a mile home, and crossed several roads along the way.

I remember my mother and father walking me to the school before I started, pointing out the route and the noticeable landmarks along the way, like particular coloured letter boxes, fences, trees and a phone box, telling me which side of the road to walk on, to refuse any lift and run away if approached, and drilling me in properly crossing the roads only when no car was in sight, until I had it right.

I was a latch-key kid. Mum and Dad went off to work early in the morning and on the way took my two years younger sister Sarah to a local lady who looked after the neighbourhood kids.

From day two in school, in the morning I waited until the clock hands were in a certain shape (8.30am) then left home, locking the door and setting off for school, step by step as it had been drilled into me, and noticing all the landmarks along the way. I arrived home at 4pm and waited until the clock hands were straight up and down (6pm) when mum and dad would arrive home when the big hand had moved a little past the top.

When my sister Sarah started school I was only in grade two and we walked side by side to school, and held hands as we crossed the road, exactly as I was instructed to.

As I recall, the other children walked or rode their bikes or scooters to school too. I remember a stream of children walking out from school and along the streets towards their homes.

So I don't entirely agree with the Coroner. I think the little girl and her older sisters should have been drilled on exactly how to walk to school. As horrible as they are, though, accidents do occur, despite parents training their children well. Children do thoughtless things, and motorists may not see them. Parents at best can only reduce the chances of that happening."

There is an extensive coverage of the issues involved here

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments containing Chinese characters will not be published as I do not understand them