Families mourn crash boys
Joy over school prizes turns to grief
THURSDAY was a proud day for Henrico van Zyl, 14, and Haydro Adams, 10, pupils at the Petra Gedink Primary School near Ceres.
At prize-giving Henrico was awarded a science prize, while Haydro won the award for best rugby player.
Felicity van Zyl, Henrico’s mother, said: “I was so proud of him. On Thursday night he won a school award for natural sciences and was going to high school next year. He left home so happy.”
But Henrico will never go to high school – he and Haydro were the two pupils killed yesterday when the bakkie carrying 13 children to the last day of school collided with a tractor on a farm near Ceres.
A third boy, Elzeno Visser, 12, suffered a possible skull fracture and was flown to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, where spokeswoman Lauren O’connor-may said he was in a serious but stable condition.
Six other children suffered minor to moderate injuries.
Police spokesman Warrant Officer November Filander said the bakkie, full of farm children, was travelling down Waboom River Road taking the children to Petra Gedink Primary School in Breerivier.
The bakkie allegedly tried to overtake a tractor but instead collided with the vehicle.
The 13 school children were flung from the bakkie on to the paved road. Henrico and Haydro died on the scene.
Elande Europa, principal of the school, said six children were rushed to the Worcester Provincial Hospital but released later after being treated for minor injuries.
Two adults inside the bakkie suffered minor to moderate injuries and a third, the school’s general assistant, Aubrey de Kock, had a serious fracture.
Just hours after the crash, Henrico and Haydro’s families visited the boys’ school to pick up the presents they were to have been given at the break-up day party.
Henrico’s mother clutched her son’s Christmas gift as tears flowed down her face. She said the boys were meant to take the school bus but decided to go on the bakkie to get there sooner.
“He left home so happy and said: ‘Mommy, I’m going to get a big present from the school today.’ He couldn’t wait to come home with his present.”
Van Zyl broke down as she described the accident scene.
“I rushed there and the boys were scattered across the road. I recognised his clothes but before I could run over to him the police stopped me and said they couldn’t let me see him like that. I cried so much when I had to tell his older brother Denver and three-year-old sister Tasmin their brother was dead. We’ll never be the same without him.”
At the Adams household, Haydro’s mother, Magdalena, and his brother Clinton, 8, were looking at the rugby awards her son had won.
“He was a great rugby player and loved all kinds of sport. At the award ceremony he was the best rugby player. I didn’t go and that is something I will always regret. I still can’t believe he’s dead,” said Adams as Clinton started to cry.
Education MEC Donald Grant visited the families and pledged to help them with the funeral arrangements.
Filander said a case of culpable homicide had been opened.
GRIEVING: Felicity van Zyl, mother of Henrico van Zyl, holding an early Christmas present meant for her son.
TRAGIC: Henrico van Zyl was killed when the bakkie he and 13 other schoolchildren were travelling in collided with a tractor near Ceres.
PROMISING STAR: Haydro Adams had won the school’s best rugby player award the evening before he was killed.
HEARTBROKEN: Magdalena Adams said she cannot accept the death of her son Haydro who was killed on his way to school yesterday.