Learner driver sorry for toddler hit-run

A LEARNER driver has apologised in court for a hit-run that left a toddler seriously injured on a Melbourne road as he continued his trip to collect takeaway food.

Zachery Davin Larkins, 21, has pleaded guilty to failing to stop and render assistance after the two-year-old boy ran onto the road at Laverton last September.

He has also admitted failing to display L plates, driving unaccompanied and failing to report the crash to police.

In the Koori Court in Melbourne on Monday, Larkins told the mother of his victim "I'm very sorry for my behaviour", adding he wished he hadn't done what he did.

Larkins had been on his way to pick up Subway in his partner's car on the night of September 9 when the toddler ran onto Railway Avenue, the court was told. The 21-year-old was unable to stop in time and knew he hit the child but drove off in shock.

Larkins' lawyer said because the man could tell the little boy's family were at the scene to provide assistance, it was different from a case where there was no one around to help.

Larkins kept going to Altona Meadows Shopping Centre, where he left the car after inspecting it and collecting his food, walking home to Railway Avenue where both he and his victim's family lived.

No driving error or mechanical fault contributed to the crash, prosecutors said. It left the boy in a coma, with injuries including a lacerated liver and bruised lungs, and unable to eat or walk properly.

The child's mother told the court her son remained scared to get into cars and was "behind in everything", in contrast to his development before the crash. Larkins remains on bail and is expected to return to court on July 29.



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