Distraught neighbours who ran to the aid of a toddler run over in a driveway have recounted the horrific moment the little girl’s father picked up her bleeding body and begged them for help.
The one-year-old girl was behind the family’s sedan at an Avondale Heights house in Melbourne’s north-west on Wednesday night when her mother accidentally reversed and struck the child.
While the little girl was undergoing treatment at a Melbourne hospital where she remained in a serious condition on Thursday, next door neighbour Tony recalled the horror in the street the previous night.
The deserted home at Avondale Heights where a toddler was run over on Wednesday night
Paramedics treated the girl outside the Avondale Heights home before rushing her to hospital
Neighbour Tony was watching a show on TV when he heard terrible screaming from next door
Tony was watching one of his favourite Italian singing shows on TV when he heard the screaming about 8pm. ‘I heard it – somebody went nuts, crazy,’ the grandfather said.
‘I saw the husband with the baby in his hands because he didn’t know what to do… he was running around.’
The mother was screaming and jumping around. ‘She was in a bad way,’ said Tony’s wife Maria. ‘She was beating herself up something bad.’
As the devastated mother wailed ‘I ran her over!’ her frantic husband picked up the girl, who was bleeding from the head, and desperately sought help from neighbours.
A third neighbour opened their front door to find blood dripped over her porch.
‘All of a sudden I heard “boom, boom”,’ she recalled.
One of the girl’s panicked parents had come to the house and was pounding on the door.
The deserted house at Avondale Heights where a toddler was run over on Wednesday night
The injured one-year-old girl was rushed to hospital in a serious condition on Wednesday night
The Avondale Heights toddler used to pick flowers from elderly neighbour Tony’s front yard
She saw the father carrying the child in his arms.
‘I had blood on my front porch everywhere,’ she said. ‘I thought someone had been shot.’
The father put the child on the ground while neighbours, including a doctor and a nurse, rushed to help.
The couple, described by Tony as ‘nice people’, are understood to be Iranian migrants who have not lived at their tidy two-bedroom home for long.
Police and paramedics rushed to the scene.
Tony and Maria brought the toddler’s older sister inside and gave her coloured markers to draw with.
‘I was trying to keep the little girl occupied,’ Maria said. ‘Everyone was screaming – it was horrible for her.
A box of coloured markers the toddler’s older sister played with after the horrific accident
Neighbours rushed to the toddler’s aid before paramedics arrived at the house about 8pm
Two prams in the front yard of the house at Avondale Heights where a toddler was run over
‘I was saying “let’s draw, let’s do this”.’
When it was time to leave, the girl wouldn’t let go of Maria’s hand.
The couple often encountered the injured girl.
Tony recalled: ‘She used to like to come here, she’d like to pick flowers.’
‘Sometimes the mother would close the gate and I’d say “don’t worry about it, leave her”.’
On Thursday afternoon, a Royal Children’s Hospital spokeswoman said the child remained in a serious condition.
The girl is in hospital with serious injuries after being hit at Avondale Heights just before 8pm on Wednesday
The family’s home was deserted, the windows left open and two prams sat in the front yard.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said an investigation into the incident was ‘ongoing’.
Meantime, locals are hoping for the best.
‘I had a dream about the little thing last night – I just hope she’s going to be OK, poor thing,’ one neighbour said.
‘It’s just tragic, it’s horrible. You don’t see them (little kids) in those big cars.’
On Wednesday, neighbours revealed hearing the mother hysterically screaming ‘What have I done? She’s so young,’ as she lay on the ground next to the girl.
Elderly neighbour Tony describes the scene after a toddler was run over on Wednesday night