Driver on the run after hitting eight people
A MAN was on the run on Friday night after his car ploughed into eight people, including seven children, in Melbourne's southeast.
The group was hit at the intersection of the Princes Highway and Cardinia Rd at Pakenham just after 3.30pm.
It is understood they were hit while crossing the intersection, after leaving a nearby primary school.
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A woman aged in her 30s suffered chest, back and shoulder injuries and was taken to The Alfred hospital in a serious condition.
A primary school-aged girl was sent to the Royal Children's Hospital in a stable condition with abdominal and leg injuries.
Five other girls - three transported to Dandenong Hospital and two to the Monash Medical Centre - suffered cuts and grazes.
A boy was treated at the scene but was not taken to hospital.
The male driver fled on foot before police arrived, leaving his car at the scene.
Shocking pictures showed the ute abandoned in the middle of the intersection with a damaged and dented bonnet.
The crash also flattened the traffic light.
The driver is perceived to be of Pacific Islander or Maori appearance, aged in his mid-20s with a solid build with black, afro-style hair. He was last seen running west on Princes Highway wearing a dark blue T-shirt and long, black pants.
Police believe the ute was travelling east along the Princes Highway when he struck a traffic light, then hit pedestrians at a crossing on Cardinia Road.
"It believed a ute struck eight pedestrians at a crossing at the intersection of Cardinia Rd and the Princess Freeway about 3.35pm," Victoria Police spokesman Belinda Batty said.
"Seven children and one adult are currently being treated for non-life threatening injuries.
"Police are currently searching for the driver who left the scene on foot," she said.
The crash caused mayhem with traffic in all directions affected but was cleared before 6.30pm.
A repair van remained at the scene last night, and was understood to be fixing the knocked-down traffic light.
The intersection is close to the Arena Shopping Centre, St Francis Xavier College and St Clare's Primary School.
Anyone who witnessed the crash is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.