Bonteheuwel girl, 7, dies in tragic accident

Residents of Boekenhout Street in Bonteheuwel are reeling over the death of a seven-year-old girl who was knocked over by her uncle in a tragic accident.

On Monday March 29, between 6pm and 7pm, Zahrah Conlan, was sitting behind the van in front of her family’s house in Boekenhout Street, when her uncle, not seeing her, reversed the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and knocked her over.

She was rushed to the Vanguard Day Hospital but was declared dead by doctors who informed the family, according to the neighbour, Shaheed Simons.

Mr Simons said residents had shouted to the driver to stop after they noticed the child had been knocked over but it was too late. He said that the community is sick with worry and concern for the family.

“She was a lovely, joyous child who was very friendly. It was a tragic accident. The community is saddened by her death. We attended the janaazah yesterday,“ he said.

Zahrah’s janaazah was held on Tuesday March 30 at her grandmother’s home in Bonteheuwel Avenue.

The family refused to speak to the Athlone News.

Bishop Lavis police spokesman, Warrant Officer, Joseph Swartbooi, said according to the hospital, Zahrah had been declared dead as a result of head injuries sustained.

He said a 33-year-old man was arrested on Monday March 29 and had appeared in the Bishop Lavis Magistrate Court the next day on a charge of culpable homicide. The man was granted bail of R1000 and the case was remanded until Friday June 18.

Bonteheuwel ward councillor, Angus McKenzie, said the death of the little girl had had a major impact on the community. On Tuesday March 30 he broke the news to her classmates and teacher.

“Breaking the news to her school friends and teacher was equally traumatic. I have very quickly ensured the necessary support to all and sincerely hope that this death will be a lesson to all about the importance of being vigilant and aware of our surroundings. Accidents happen but they can be avoided and this was one that could have been avoided if we all played our part and were aware of what is happening around us,” he said.

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