Get IOL's cool new iPad app...
A mother has told of her growing sense of unease when, arriving at home in Ballito after a holiday, she found her husband’s car was not there. They had travelled home in two cars, her husband ahead of her with two boys in his car.
Charmaine Killian was to learn soon afterwards that her husband, her youngest son and his friend had been killed in the horrific truck accident on the N2 on Tuesday.
“I am coping in the knowledge that my little boy, Kelvin, was an absolute child of God. As small as he was, he was very well informed and vocal about his beliefs,” she said, displaying a strength needed for her remaining two children.
“He had talked about death and had wanted to know what happened afterwards. So, in a way, he prepared me for this.
“I don’t know how to explain this. But he was an angel. He came into my life and left with his dad.”
A family holiday to the Drakensberg came to a tragic end and two families have been left heartbroken after Ockert Killian, 43, Kelvin Killian, 11, and Ethan Prinsloo, 11, were killed instantly after an 18-wheeler truck ploughed into their car near the Umgeni Road offramp. The truck hit 16 other cars before dragging Ockert’s car and one other over the embankment.
Speaking to The Mercury in heart-wrenching words on Thursday, Killian said she had been driving behind her husband, but far enough back that she had not seen the accident happen.
“By the time we passed the accident, the truck was on top of the car and we couldn’t see anything. When we got back home and they were not there, we started phoning around, but Ockert’s phone was off. I had a feeling something was wrong.”
Wilma Prinsloo, Ethan’s mom, who had also also been on holiday with the Killians, phoned Ethan’s father Johan to go to the accident scene and make sure it wasn’t their loved ones.
Paramedics who were at the scene when he arrived said he was “broken” on finding that his son was one of those who died.
The Prinsloo family were not yet ready to talk to the media on Thursday.
Killian, however, spoke fondly of her husband and son. The love and pride she felt for Kelvin was evident in every word, while the giggles of young love were heard when she explained how she and Ockert met.
“We met in matric. I had a 17th birthday party and we were introduced by mutual friends. That was on March 5, 1988,” she recalled.
“We never officially started dating, we were always just together. We used to say that once you make it official then all the problems start,” Killian laughed.
The couple were together for 24 years and married for 18. They have two other children, Marcel, 15, and Anuschka, 13.
Killian said Anuschka was not coping well with the deaths of her father and brother.
“My son is trying to be the strong one, taking his dad’s place. He says his dad would want us to live in this house, not a complex, so he is taking over the pool, which his dad always used to keep sparkling blue.
“I have other children I have to consider. I can’t afford to fall down.”
Ockert worked as a shift manager at Sibaya Casino and was described by colleagues as a likeable and popular man with lots of friends.
One of his Facebook friends, Famida Fay Naicker, wrote: “One by one, God is calling all the nice, kind, sweet people to rest – one of the nicest people, Ockert, may you and your son RIP – miss u at work.”
A memorial service for Ockert and Kelvin will be held at the NG Kerk in Ballito at 10am on Wednesday.
The driver of the truck which caused the accident was due to appear in court on Friday, charged with three counts of culpable homicide.
Johan Rossouw, the logistics manager for the Free State company JK Dienste, which owns the truck, said he had been to see the driver since his arrest and would probably be with him during his court appearance.
He did not know what caused the accident, and said: “I didn’t talk to him (the driver) as he was in shock. If we send him for trauma counselling we can find out what went wrong.”
Rossouw said the company deeply regretted the tragic accident. - The Mercury