Family of toddler fatally hit by car on Kaitāia driveway were already grieving loss of stillborn baby

Azalea-Reign Kiani May Samuel.
Azalea-Reign Kiani May Samuel. Photo credit: Givealittle

The family of 20-month-old Azalea-Reign Kiani May Samuel, who died in Kaitāia after being hit by a car in a driveway, were already grieving the loss of a stillborn baby.

Azalea-Reign was hit in the driveway on Thursday and died in Starship Hospital from her injuries the next day in what her family said was a tragic accident.

A Givealittle page for the family said Azalea-Reign's mother, Tuhiata Samuels, was already grieving the loss of her baby daughter Cartier, who was stillborn last month.

Samuels had remained Kaitāia since burying Cartier to be around her family. 

The Givealittle page, created by Samuels' cousin, described Azalea-Reign as a "blessing, a true gift from god" and a "beautiful ray of sunshine who had such an incredible soul".

"We are simply without words to express the tremendous loss we feel," the family said.

"To lose one child is unimaginable, however, our beautiful, kindhearted cousin has loss [sic] both her children within 4 weeks of each other. Our family is broken and our hearts are heavy.

"This fundraiser is to support Tuhiata during this heart wrenching time. The funds will help cover the cost of Azalea-Reigns funeral and ongoing bills allowing our cousin to grieve for her babies." 

The Givealittle page had raised more than $2000 at the time of writing.

Det Snr Sgt Kevan Verry, of Northland, said the police's "thoughts are with the family of the child at this time".

"Police will continue to speak to the family, as we investigate what occurred leading up to the incident," he said in a statement on Friday.

"This tragedy is a timely reminder for motorists to be extra watchful of children cycling and walking on our roads and footpaths during the school holidays."