What was meant to be a day of celebration for the Hendricks family turned out to be one of mourning.
Bevan Hendricks was supposed to celebrate his 10th birthday on Tuesday June 7 but instead his family had to plan his funeral.
He was mowed down by a car just before 7pm on Friday June 3 while on his way to a shop near his Van De Leur Court home in Lavender Hill.
The boy was on his way to the shop for one of his neighbours — something he often did.
Older brother Shane Peters broke down when he recalled seeing his brother laying injured in the street.
“I heard a loud bang and everyone started running to where the accident happened and told us it was him. I ran to where he was laying and there was a long gash in his head and he was full of blood,” he said.
“I held his hand and spoke to him. He didn’t respond but he was still alive. It wasn’t long after that when he took his last breath,” he said crying.
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Bevan’s mother Avril Hendricks was too traumatised to go to the scene of the accident on Friday.
“The last time I spoke to him he asked me about his soccer uniform because he was an avid soccer player and joined a soccer team a few weeks ago. I didn’t know that that was the last time I would see him alive,” said Ms Hendricks.
This is the second child in the household to die in a matter of months.
Bevan’s cousin Chelsea, 7, died three months ago when she suffered an asthma attack.
“We are very heart sore and we hope that we can get answers because people are saying that the driver was driving at a high speed. The accident could have been prevented if he wasn’t driving fast,” said Ms Hendricks.
The mother of five said the man drove away from the scene of the accident.
Steenberg Police’s Warrant Officer John Bartlett confirmed this but said the man was in danger.
“It is alleged that the driver of the vehicle was threatened on the scene and he drove to Steenberg police station to report the accident,” said Officer Bartlett.
He adds that the crowd at the scene was riotous.
“Officers from the Crime Prevention Unit were busy with patrols they observed a crowd of people gathering in Military Road. The traffic was heavy and the crowd was blocking the traffic flow. When the officers cleared the scene they saw a child laying in the road,” he said.
He adds that when officers tried to disperse the crowd, they became violent and back up was called.
A case of culpable homicide has been opened and is being investigated.
Bevan was described as a playful, funny and intelligent child by his Christian Moravian Davids Primary School Grade 4 teacher Desray Reddy.
“He asked a lot of questions and was a critical thinker. He loved making jokes in class and he will dearly missed by his classmates,” she said.
“His peers were devastated and he will leave a void. Seeing his empty desk is very sad,” said Ms Reddy.
Community worker Clive Jacobs said the location where the accident happened is notorious.
“So many people have been knocked down there and there have been many accidents. More safety measures needs to be put in place in Military Road and especially that hotspot because people drive recklessly. Bevan was a sweet boy,” said Mr Jacobs.
Christian Moravian Davids Primary School principal Michael Erasmus agreed.
“There are not nearly enough safety precautions here for the children and it is upsetting. Along with added safety measures people also need to learn to use the road properly and not drive so irresponsibly,” he said.
Anyone who witnessed the incident is requested to contact the investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Nazel Dlaminie on 021 702 9000 or 08600 10111.