Canterbury Police say the death of a four-year old boy following a quad bike crash is a tragic reminder of the need for caution where young children and farm vehicles on rural properties are involved.
Police have named the child as Timothy George MacAvoy, aged four, from Ashburton.
The crash occurred on Sunday 27 April near Tai Tapu, and the boy died at Starship Hospital, Auckland, on Saturday [3 May].
The family has requested privacy and asks that news media do not attempt to contact them.
Inspector Al Stewart, Canterbury Road Policing Manager, says although the full circumstances of the fatality have yet to be determined, the incident is a reminder that children are vulnerable when involved with quad bikes and other vehicles on rural properties.
"It is a tragedy when a young life is lost in such circumstances. In any situation, the combination of farm vehicles and young children is a potentially hazardous one," he says.
"Police and rural community leaders have been consistent in urging farmers and rural residents to be extra vigilant and to avoid putting children at risk."
Police say the four-year old had been visiting the property where the crash occurred with his family. The property, a small farm just east of Tai Tapu township, belonged to a relative.
Initial inquiries indicate that the boy had been riding on the quad bike, sitting in front of the relative, a man aged in his 60s. The vehicle was being driven down a gentle grassed slope and struck a tie-down which had been strung between two trees, after one was blown over during a recent storm.
The boy and the adult were both flung from the bike. The boy suffered severe spinal injuries and was taken to Christchurch Hospital, before being transferred to Starship Hospital the following day [Monday 28 April].
The adult rider suffered spinal and chest injuries and was treated at the Burwood spinal unit before being discharged.
Inspector Stewart says the Police investigation into the crash is continuing. No decision has been yet been made on whether any charges will be laid in relation to the incident.
NOTE: The family has requested privacy and asks that news media do not attempt to contact them.