TODAY |

Woman dragged under Auckland tour bus with her toddler opens up about terrifying ordeal

The woman who was hit by a runaway tour bus while walking with her toddler in Auckland's CBD last week has talked about their remarkable tale of survival.

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Now she’s praising the bystanders who rescued them, calling them angels. Source: 1 NEWS

Renée Annan and her nearly two-year-old daughter, Āria Hetaraka, were walking down Victoria Street West shortly after 1pm last Monday when the incident happened.

Ms Annan told 1 NEWS the pair had left Sky City's Fortuna restaurant, where they had lunch with her father, when tragedy struck.

"We walked out off the footpath onto a roadworks footpath that went out onto the road," she recalled. "It was a designated pedestrian area. Then I heard some yelling and turned around a saw a big red bus.

"For a second I thought it was just reversing, then I realised it was going really fast."

Ms Annan says when she was hit by the bus it felt like she was being crushed, but she was actually being dragged down the road underneath it.

She lost contact with her daughter's hand and feared she was dead.

When the bus came to a stop, Ms Annan crawled out from under the bus screaming for her baby. She found Āria covered in tar with the roadworker who rescued her. 

Luckily, a paedetrician was walking past and stopped to check Āria over while they waited for paramedics to arrive.

The pair escaped relatively unscathed and Ms Annan says even though she isn't religious, “there was something with us that day".

The investigation into the accident is still underway and Ms Annan just hopes that the cause is discovered so nothing like this ever happens again.

City Rail Link construction worker Steeley Ashley was one of the first on the scene and pulled Āria from under the bus.

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Both disappeared under the double-decker, but it appears neither were seriously hurt. Source: 1 NEWS

"We just seen the bus coming through [the] site. We heard a loud crack - that's what drew my attention," Mr Ashley said in a video published by the transporation agency last week. "I freaked out a little bit and then all of a sudden, body and brain went into autopilot."

He ran around to the front of the bus, where he heard a child screaming, then took the "dreaded" look under.

"I thought I was going to see a poor kid pinned under a wheel or something. Looked under anyway, saw she was free, crawled under the bus, grabbed her, pulled her out.

"From the time that the bus came crashing into the site to the time where I pulled the baby out it just felt like a matter of seconds.

"For me, I didn't even think about my own safety or anything. I just ran straight in there to assist however I could and I was the fortunate one that managed to find baby and pull her out."

However, when asked what he thought of being hailed a hero, Mr Ashley said he didn't consider himself one.

"I done what anyone else would've done, I feel. You know, there was plenty of people there I was just the first one there."