Injured girl released from hospital
Mon, 13 Aug 2012 5:41a.m.
A 9-year-old boy has drowned and his younger sister is in hospital after the four-wheel-drive they were in rolled into a pond at a private goldmine in Westland.
The accident took place at Ruapatu, near Hokitika, just before 7pm last night.
An eight-year-old girl is currently recovering from hypothermia, after she spent more than two hours in the submerged Toyota Hilux before being found by police. The boy, Tayne Luca Bowes, died in the water.
“A couple of our police officers actually got into the water to have a bit of a [recon] of the vehicle and discovered that the girl had crawled into the boot space of the 4WD, so she was in that boot space in an air pocket, so they were able to get her out alive,” says Tasman Police District communications manager Barbara Dunne.
Ms Dunne says that despite suffering from hypothermia, the girl was recovering well.
“Last evening she was sitting up talking and doing really well,” says Ms Dunne.
She was released from Grey Base Hospital in Greymouth this morning.
After the vehicle rolled into the pond, the children's father escaped from the semi-submerged vehicle and ran two kilometres for help after the accident occurred.
It is not yet clear what attempts he made to rescue his children.
He was also taken to hospital and is reportedly still in shock.
West Coast area commander Insp John Canning told Fairfax Media that the family was “grieving pretty badly”.
Mr Canning said the father took the children to the West Coast mine where he worked to refuel pumps used to remove water from the mine’s open pit.
An investigation into the accident will continue this morning.
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13/08/2012 10:50:29 p.m.
We all need answers for a tragedy like this, but presumptions after losing a child would end a man with the guilt!
13/08/2012 1:08:24 p.m.
Something not right here.I know i would have jumped in to try and rescue my children.and not run off for help.
13/08/2012 11:18:00 a.m.
I'm sure he did his absolute best at the time, Chris.
13/08/2012 7:32:20 a.m.
Why did the father run for help and not grab his children out?
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