Community in mourning

Story appeared in: Torch | November 14th, 2017

A MAKESHIFT memorial has grown outside Greenacre's Banksia Road Public School after last Tuesday's tragic car crash that killed students, Andrew Encinas and Jihad Warwiche.
A 52-year-old parent and volunteer worker at the school allegedly lost control of her 4WD about 9.45am, ploughing into a classroom. There were 24 children in the classroom at the time of the crash, with 17 children and one female teacher treated by paramedics.
Andrew, 9, and Jihad, 8, were rushed to Westmead Children's Hospital with critical injuries, where they were later pronounced dead. Three girls were also taken to hospital with injuries and later released.
Police charged the driver last Tuesday night with two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death and negligent driving. She was additionally charged with dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm and causing actual bodily harm by misconduct. Her licence was suspended, and she will appear in Bankstown Local Court on November 29. Through her lawyer, the driver has apologised, saying she is "deeply sorry".
Flowers, teddy-bears, toys and messages are mounting on the footpath outside the school as residents from all over Sydney offer their support.
Heba Slim of Brighton said her flowers were to show sympathy, when she visited the school on Wednesday morning.
"It's very upsetting. I feel sorry for the parents of these kids, and even for the person who did this," she said.
Heba's sister, Mariam Slim, said they both needed to pay their respects to the victims.
"It's heartbreaking," she said.
Michelle So and Jenny Ousta made the trip from Carlton to place flowers at the makeshift memorial.
"We just wanted to show our love and support," Michelle said.
Neighbour, Ali Issmail, who has two children at the school, says the tragedy will forever change the community.
"I can feel it in the area. There's a quiet, a silence in the neighbourhood," he said.
"I know these two boys, they walked past my home every morning on their way to school. They will be dearly missed."

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Publication: Torch | Section: news | Author: Mick Roberts | Story ID: 132655 | Viewcount: 11987