Heartbreaking final social media post of a mother who lost her five-year-old son when their ute was swept away in floodwaters as they returned home from a family trip to the Zoo
- Jayden El Jer, five, drowned in a submerged car swept in floodwater on Friday
- His parents and two younger siblings were found clutching trees at about 8pm
- Parents uploaded a video of them driving through floodwater the day before
- Jayden’s dad, Joseph El Jer, called the five-year-old a ‘blessing from the heavens’
A Sydney couple’s final social post before their five-year-old son drowned in floodwater shows their three children playing in the back of their ute as they drove through partly submerged roads.
Devastated parents Joseph El Jer and Pam Hadchity shared videos of their 445km road trip from Granville, Sydney, to Tullamore in Central NSW, before their car was swept away in raging floodwaters on Friday at about 8pm.
The family had headed west for a family trip to Dubbo Zoo.
Emergency services found Mr and Mrs El Jer holding their two youngest children while clutching trees in raging water after abandoning their vehicle.
The couple’s eldest son Jayden, five, was unable to escape the car.
Joseph El Jer and Pam Hadchity (pictured holding their two youngest children) were found clutching trees after their car was swept off the road in floodwater with five-year-old Jayden (centre) still inside
Photos show the life-jacket clad family being lifted from the rescue boat.
Emergency services waited with the vehicle while the family was rushed to Dubbo Hospital for treatment.
Police divers found Jayden’s body inside the submerged car and he was driven to Parkes Hospital but could not be saved.
Just one day earlier his parents shared a video of them driving through partly flooded roads while the three children cheered from the backseat.
The last video shared to the family’s TikTok page showed them visiting Dubbo Zoo, about 126km east of Tullamore, on Friday afternoon.
Jayden celebrated his fifth birthday in March.
Photos show the little boy beaming with his face covered in icing from his dinosaur-themed cake.
Five-year-old Jayden (pictured on his fifth birthday, covered in icing from his dinosaur-themed cake) was found by police divers inside a submerged car on Friday night
Jayden’s heartbroken parents parents Joseph El Jer and Pam Hadchity (above) shared videos of the family’s road trip from Sydney to Tullamore before being swept away by floodwater
‘You make me proud, glad, happy and I will always be your biggest fan love you so much,’ Mrs Hadchity captioned the photos.
Mr El Jer wrote Jayden was a ‘blessing from the heavens’.
‘You changed me into a father, something I only dreamt of. Now you and your siblings have made me complete,’ he said.
Heartbreaking videos on the family’s TikTok page show Jayden playing with his siblings and dancing.
Jayden’s parents and two younger siblings were rescued SES workers on Friday night and taken to Dubbo Hospital (pictured, the family being lifted out of the rescue boat)
The El Jer family are well known in the Tullamore community and visited several times a year.
Locals said the family often attended the Tullamore Catholic church.
‘It’s absolutely devastating, things like this just don’t happen out here and everyone is just absolutely devastated for the family, everyone that went out there,’ Local mum Adriana Stevenson told the Daily Telegraph.
‘It’s horrible, absolutely horrible. You just can’t explain how the family must feel, it’s obviously a mistake, a split second decision that’s gone terribly wrong.
Jayden (pictured at his dinosaur-themed fifth birthday) was described by his dad as a ‘blessing from the heavens’ while his mum wrote ‘you make me proud, glad, happy and I will always be your biggest fan love you so much’
‘It gives you goosebumps.’
SES chief commander Rob Cunneen said first responders to the horrific scene are ‘looking after each other’ amid ongoing flood rescues.
In the last 24 hours SES volunteers have made six floodwater rescues and responded to 112 calls for help.
For up to date flood warnings in NSW, visit the NSW SES website.