Traffic and Highway Patrol’s Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith recounted the devastating turn of events to The Daily Telegraph.
“The two that were on the M1 were in a vehicle prior to entering the road system,” he said.
“We believe they parked in the breakdown bay and the driver opened the door of the vehicle. The boy ran out onto the road, chased by the driver.”
He added: “Obviously the driver is taking it fairly hard”.
At the time of his death, the 8-year-old was in the care of the Department of Family and Community Services.
“The death of any child is a tragedy. FACS was deeply saddened to hear about the death of a young boy and 28-year-old woman near Newcastle on Sunday,” a spokesman said.