Tash Ellery with her daughter Kasey, 13.

Police charge ‘hit and run’ van driver

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Nelson police have charged a man for careless driving after initially telling the family of the girl he hit with his van that no charges would be laid.

Area commander, Inspector Steve Greally launched an internal investigation into the incident after the mother of the 13 year old hit by the van told Nelson Weekly she was “disgusted” no charges would be laid. That investigation ended last week with the driver, a 67 year old man, being formally charged with careless driving causing injury.

The man will appear in the Nelson District Court to face the charge on September 24.

Tash Ellery, mother of the injured girl, says she is happy the original decision has been reversed and that the injuries her daughter sustained have been healing well, although she will have screws in her ankle for the rest of her life.

“I’m really happy with the outcome now, the police have been really helpful since the article came out and I feel like there is justice now,” she says.

Kasey Ellery was walking home with a friend from the Black Cat dairy at around 5.45pm on Friday, June 22 when they stopped on an island next to Waimea Rd. While Kasey was texting her mother a van travelling from Stoke hit her in the face with its wing mirror. Her friend jumped out of the way after seeing the van coming at the last second.

The Nelson College for Girls student suffered facial injuries requiring 12 stitches around her cheek and ear and a broken ankle.

She was rushed to hospital and had two screws put in her ankle.

Inspector Greally says he is satisfied with the investigation and that the matter is now before the courts.

“Like any organisation we do make mistakes from time to time, however it’s important to learn from those mistakes and in this particular case it was important to address the concerns of the victim as a focus of prevention first.”

Tash says she and her daughter can now move on.

“It [the case] was basically dismissed until the article came out, I’m pretty happy with the outcome now and with the police.”