The young boy who drowned in flood waters in rural New South Wales has been identified as five-year-old Jayden El Jer.
The family of five from Sydney had taken a trip to Dubbo Zoo on Friday 23 and were heading back to their holiday home at Tullamore when tragedy struck and they got stuck in flood waters.
Jayden’s parents Joseph El Jer and Pam Hadchity and two younger siblings, baby Bachir and three-year-old daughter Valentina, were able to scramble out of the submerged Hilux ute to safety.
Unfortunately, five-year-old Jayden remained trapped inside as his desperate family called out to him before the ute sank.
Emergency services found the ute around 3.20pm the following day with Jayden’s body still inside.
A report will be prepared for the coroner with Jayden being remembered as a “bright, bubbly boy”.
His mother Pam had shared photos of their trip to the zoo just hours before the horrific accident.
Jayden was only in kindergarten at Christ the King Primary School in North Rocks, Sydney.
“I am writing to share some very sad news with you. Over the weekend, one of our Kindergarten students Jayden lost his life in an accident caused by flooding in Central West NSW,” the school’s principal Tony Hughes said in a statement.
“Our entire community will be deeply affected by this tragic loss of our friend and classmate, Jayden. Jayden joined our caring community at the beginning of 2022.
“This is a very distressing time for Jayden’s family, for his classmates and for our staff. For many students, the news of Jayden’s death will bring with it a range of strong feelings.”
Mr Hughes said that there will be additional support and counselling offered to students as they come to terms with the loss of their fellow classmate.
“It is important that we give our young people the opportunity to talk about what they are experiencing and to support them to feel safe and heard,” he continued.
“I have arranged for additional counselling to be available at school once students return on October 11.
“There will be an opportunity soon for our caring community to reach out and offer kindness and support to Jayden’s family. I will provide you with more information when it is appropriate to do so.”
This article first appeared on OverSixty.