By Bonny Burrows
A 21-year-old Pakenham man has been arrested following a “reckless” hit and run involving school children.
Eight people, including seven primary school students and a woman in her 30s, were reportedly leaving school and heading to a party when they were mowed down on 16 February.
It is believed a silver ute was travelling east along Princes Highway when it stuck a traffic light and the pedestrians at the Cardinia Road crossing just after 3.30pm.
The male driver ditched the stolen vehicle and fled the scene on foot before police arrived and had spent the weekend on the run.
He was arrested by police at about 2.20pm of 19 February at a resident address in Pakenham following an extensive man hunt which was assisted by dash camera footage of the incident.
“He was obviously known by police, we were actively pursuing him since Friday afternoon,” Cardinia CIU Detective Senior Sergeant Melissa Nixon said.
“We put everything into it and he was located.”
As of Monday afternoon, the man was being interviewed by police and was expected to be charged with reckless driving among other charges.
“It was fair to say he was expecting us, expecting us to come looking for him,” Det Sen Sgt Nixon said.
Det Sen Sgt Nixon described the man’s actions as reckless.
“It was pretty distressing for some young children family members and family some young children to see what happened,” she said.