A 10-year-old boy was flown to hospital in a critical condition after being hit by a car in Unanderra on Wednesday morning.
About 8.35am, emergency services were called to Unanderra where a Nissan Maxima travelling west on Waples Road, near Mianga Crescent, had struck a 10-year-old boy.
The boy was treated at the scene for head injuries by NSW Ambulance paramedics, before being airlifted to Randwick Children's Hospital in a critical condition.
Lake Illawarra police chief inspector Brian Pedersen said it appeared the accident occurred when the boy crossed the road into the path of the car.
He said police had arrived to a chaotic scene, with the crash happening just outside the school zone for Farmborough Road Public School.
"[The boy] has been struck, and we believe the car may have gone over him as well," he said.
"Our hearts go out to the family, because from my understanding it is serious injuries and we hate to see this with any children."
Ambulance duty officer Inspector Nathan O'Brien said the incident had been "extremely upsetting for the first responders on scene".
"In the end, we're all human and a lot of us have children as well - that's why we do our training, so we can operate well as a team, we know what we have to do to help those who need us," he said.
"Our crews did a fantastic job in doing everything they could to provide life-saving treatment."
There was no update on the boy's condition available on Wednesday night.
Police said the driver, a 17-year-old male, was assisting police and was taken to Wollongong Hospital for mandatory testing.
A nearby resident, who did not want to be named, told the Mercury a gate that would provide safer access to the school should be open for 30 minutes of a morning on school days, but remained locked.
Instead, she said pedestrians had to walk an extra 500 metres, including along the "very busy" Waples Road, to access the school gate.
"You can see every morning kids coming from the far side of the school being forced to walk through the park and along Waples Road - it's wrong and needs to be sorted," she said.
A NSW Education spokesperson said the school continued to communicate with the student's parents to monitor his condition and to offer support.
"Counselling has been offered to students who may have witnessed the incident and to others for whom it may have caused concerns," the spokesperson said.
As investigations continue, police are requesting anyone with information or dashcam vision to contact Lake Illawarra Police on 4232 5599 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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