Parents, students and members of the wider community have come together to mourn the two young victims of the tragic car crash at a Sydney primary school.
Maha Al-Shennag, a 52-year-old mother of four, was behind the wheel of the Toyota Kluger which slammed into a demountable classroom where 24 kids were drawing at about 9.45am on Tuesday.
Two eight-year-old boys were found by first responders among the blood and chaos, and were rushed to Westmead Children’s Hospital. Both passed away due to cardiac arrest.
People gathered outside Banksia Road Public School on Tuesday evening, laying flowers and remembering the young lives that were lost.
A large notice was posted, handwritten by students from the year above the 3T class that saw their room collapsed by the out-of-control vehicle.
‘Rest in Peace Andrew and Jihad, you will never be forgotten,’ the sign reads.
Parents, students and members of the wider community have come together to mourn the two young victim’s of the tragic car crash at a Sydney primary school
A large notice was posted, handwritten by students from the year above the 3T class that saw their room collapsed by the out-of-control vehicle
People gathered outside Banksia Road Public School on Wednesday evening, laying flowers and remembering the young lives that were lost
Hole in the wall: The Toyota Kluger toppled over the wall of the classroom wall in Greenacre about 9.45am on Tuesday morning
Hundreds have gathered outside the school in an outpouring of grief and emotion.
Adults and children have had to be comforted by others attending the vigil with many breaking down in tears at the sight of the destroyed classroom.
Among those attending the vigil was Lakemba MP Jihad Dib, who spoke and held a moment’s silence at the memorial.
‘He was a beautiful boy’: Hero first responder Khaled Arnaout charged towards the scene after hearing a loud bang, screaming and crying
‘Please keep these two little boys and their family in your prayers and God willing a speedy recovery to those in hospital,’ he said.
‘Make sure you tell your parents you love them.’
Khaled Arnaout was one of the heroic first responders on the scene of the tragedy in Greenacre.
Neighbour and tradesman Mr Arnaout revealed he bolted towards the school after hearing a loud ‘bang’ and found a tragic scene of blood and chaos.
With the help of at least one other man, he lifted the 4WD off one of the boys.
The child was unconscious, but his eyes were open.
‘(I) keep seeing the blue eyes staring up at me,’ a heartbroken Mr Arnaout told Daily Mail Australia. ‘He was a beautiful boy.’
Hundreds have gathered outside the school in an outpouring of grief and emotion
Adults and children have had to be comforted by others attending the vigil with many breaking down in tears at the sight of the destroyed classroom
The first responder was heartbroken after hearing the two boys died in the police press conference later
Witnesses said the car is owned by a parent at the school, who had been parked in a carpark moments before the vehicle struck the classroom
The other boy who later died had a big gash to his head. But when Mr Arnaout was present, he was conscious and kept asking for his mother.
‘He kept asking where his mum was and that hurt,’ he said.
‘I said, ‘your mum will come for you shortly’.’
After the accident, he saw the driver was in the back seat of the car yelling out ‘help, I’m sorry’.
A tradesman, Mr Arnaout had popped home to get something when he heard a loud ‘bang’.
He didn’t think much of it until he heard screaming and crying as well.
Safe in his arms: A student at Banksia Road Public School is walked home after the tragic accident on Tuesday
Parents hug outside the Banksia Road Public School school gates after the fatal crash
Walls toppled and class decorations in tatters: Maha Al-Shennag was behind the wheel of the SUV when it slammed into the classroom
His first thought was his daughter who attended the school. The short run to the scene of the crash felt like a ‘marathon’, he said.
‘(I) run over there, see the whole wall and debris everywhere and blood.’
‘Another guy (stood) next to the car, instinct got us, we lifted the car.
‘We saw the kid looking at us from under the car.’
He later found out the boys had died from the police press conference.
‘I broke down and thought I could have done more.’
He believes it could have helped to have had a defibrillator in the classroom.
NSW Police charged the woman with two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death and suspended her licence on Tuesday night.
They have reportedly ruled out any suggestion the woman was suffering from a medical episode and instead will allege she was distracted by something in her car that led to the incident.
She will face Bankstown Local Court on Wednesday.
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