Woman tried to save 22-month-old baby struck by car

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A MERRIWA mother used knowledge from a first aid course she had done over a decade ago to desperately try and revive a toddler struck in an alleged hit-and-run. But 22-month-old baby Lucas could not be saved and he died at Joondalup Health Campus after the accident on Dunmore Circuit just after 5pm on Friday.

Dunmore Circuit resident Nichola Yates told how she heard the toddler’s mother screaming for help and rushed to perform CPR on the child, despite “blood everywhere” and his horrific injuries.

“The mother was screaming, ‘My baby, help me, help me’,” Mrs Yates, a Merriwa resident of two years, said.

“My friend and I got to her and got her off the road and put the baby down on the side of the road.

“The baby seemed lifeless, the injuries were really bad, but I tried CPR as best I could remember it.

“You could tell he didn’t look good. He didn’t look good at all. It wasn’t a pretty sight. It was very sad.

“The car got him in the head. What do you do when you see a baby with so many injuries and blood everywhere?

“Somebody rang 000 and I had the phone pressed to my ear and the operator telling me what to do, I was compressing and my friend was doing the breathing.

“It made me realise everyone should do a first aid course. I could only remember bits and pieces and it made me realise, with kids of my own, that I need to do a refresher.”

Residents said a man was arguing with Lucas’ mother in front of a house she was visiting on Dunmore Circuit.

The man got in his car and drove off but struck the toddler, which had crawled in front of the car.

The driver stopped initially but then fled the scene when several men from the house threatened him, one armed with a bat or pole.

“The mother was screaming, ‘It was an accident, he didn’t mean to do it’. But a couple of people came after him and he got scared and felt threatened and sped off,” Mrs Yates said.

A friend of the mother, who did not want to be named, also described Lucas’ death as a “terrible accident” and said the driver did not know Lucas had crawled in front of the car.

Police issued a plea for the driver to hand himself in and on Saturday a WA Police spokesman confirmed a 30-year-old was helping with their investigation. Police located the vehicle involved in the incident, a white Hyundai Santa Fe, in Cockburn. Forensic officers will investigate the area.

Another resident, Joy Palmer, said about a dozen young children were playing at a park across the road and witnessed the horrific accident.

“It was very disturbing for the kids. They saw it all. I worried something would happen because kids are often playing at the park, sometimes unsupervised, and drivers do speed around here. It’s quite dangerous,” she said.

Another resident, Kelly-Jo Petrides, 28, said the area was frequented by hoons and speeding drivers and she called for traffic calming devices to be installed.

“We definitely need speed bumps and signs or a zebra crossing because people come flying off Marmion Ave and speed down here all the time,” she said.

“You wouldn’t believe how many people are on their phone as well. It’s astounding.” Mrs Petrides said she never let her one-year-old Logan out of sight near the road because she feared he too could become a road accident victim.

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