Family of four killed in crash

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NP Asheen

Durban - Teenager Asheen Maharaj, whose parents and sister perished in a horrific car crash last week Saturday, has succumbed to his injuries and died.

He was the sole survivor of a horrific crash, which claimed the lives of his dad Ashwin, 41, mum Ashnie, 39, and sister Ashina, 19, on the N3 near Pinetown.

According to family members, Maharaj’s condition took a turn for the worst on Monday, with the teen being declared brain-dead and hooked onto life support. Doctors had given him a week to improve, before suggesting that his life support be switched off.

The once vibrant teenager, of Newholmes in Pietermaritzburg, suffered severe head and spinal injuries as well as lung damage.

The Grade 10 pupil at Raisethorpe Secondary had been on life support for for 11 days, before he died during the early hours of Tuesday, at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in Durban.

His extendend family have told POST that while they are struggling to come to terms with the death of his parents and sister in the same accident, they are comforted knowing Asheen is reunited with them.

Asheen’s paternal aunt, Anusha Maharaj, said: “We knew our time with him was limited but this did not stop us from praying for a miracle. We often sat by his bedside and reminded him how much we loved and needed him in our lives. But it seems he was wanted more elsewhere.”

She said on Monday night the family stayed at his bedside, once again, where they prayed and recited mantras (devotional hymns).

“We left him at around 8pm assuring him we would be back to visit for Diwali (a religious event on the Hindu calender). We were instead called in the early hours of the morning and told he had passed away. Although these are trying times for us, we will pull together as we know all four of them are reunited.”

“It is going to be difficult to get over all their deaths. The period of Diwali will never be the same for us again.”

Asheen’s cousin Roshnie Ramsamjuh, said: “A week ago we cremated his parents and sister and we are now making arrangements for his funeral.”

Ramsamjuh said they were receiving counselling from Swami Sri MK Anjagan of the Vedanta Institute of South Africa and from their pundit Nishaan Sewpersadh.

She added although they were hurting, Asheen and his family would always be remembered as the light of their lives.

The extended family conducted a prayer on Tuesday)to ensure Asheen’s soul travelled safely into the after-life.

Asheen’s school principal Indran Pillay said he contacted staff members with the news on Tuesday morning.

“We are all in shock. We were certain he would pull through.”

Pillay said since the accident, fellow teachers and pupils held vigils for Asheen.

Dr Jay Matthew, head of the emergency department at Medi-Clinic in Pietermarizburg, said there was no strict criteria in determining whether a patient should be taken off life support.

Matthew, who was not part of Asheen’s medical team, said doctors assessed each case individually and a mutual decision was made with the family.

Asheen will be cremated later this week at the Clare Estate Crematorium. - POST

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