The shattered sister of a schoolboy who died when he was mowed down by an elderly driver wants to know why the woman was allowed behind the wheel in the first place.
Calvin Wijeweera was walking from school at 11:20am on Thursday with two classmates in Carlingford, Sydney’s northwest, when a car veered off the road and slammed into the boys.
The driver of the silver Mitsubishi that hit 17-year-old Calvin and fatally pinned him under a mechanic’s van was a 90-year-old woman from Epping.
Ovindi Wijeweera, Calvin’s older sister, who was in Singapore when the accident happened, now wonders why there were no restrictions preventing the driver from getting behind the wheel, given her age.
She also revealed how when she flew back to Australia, her grief led her to hope that the incident had been a “nightmare” from which she would soon wake up.
“It’s not hate speech, it’s just how can a 90-year-old woman drive?” she told Seven News.
Ovindi Wijeweera (pictured), the shattered sister of schoolboy Calvin Wijeweera, who died when he was mowed down by an elderly driver, wants to know why the woman was behind the wheel
Calvin’s grieving parents said he dreamed of becoming an aeronautical engineer (photo, Sandun, Anoma and Calvin)
The Colombo-born teenager was walking home from school with his friends when a 90-year-old driver veered off the road, pulled up the curb and into a van parked in the driveway of a house on Rembrandt Street in Carlingford, Sydney’s northwest . (photo) Calvin was trapped between the car and the van
In New South Wales, drivers over the age of 75 must undergo a medical examination every year to keep their license.
After 85 years, they must take an ‘on-road’ driving test every two years.
The woman suffered a leg injury in the crash and was taken to Westmead Hospital for mandatory tests, the results of which will be weeks away.
One of Calvin’s classmates, also 17, was taken to Westmead Hospital after suffering a head injury in the crash, while a third boy managed to jump out of the way and was unharmed.
Ms Wijeweera said she continues to hope she will “wake up” from the nightmare she was living in now.
Ovindi Wijeweera (pictured right, next to her brother) remains ‘very proud’ of her brother, who had a clear goal to become an engineer despite his young age, but remains hopeful that she will ‘wake up’ from the nightmare of his sudden death
Calvin dreamed of becoming an engineer and would start his HSC next year
“This house, the four of us were here, and every time I turn a corner and I see him, I just can’t believe he’s gone and won’t come back,” she said.
On the flight back to Sydney I kept thinking ‘I’m going to wake up from this nightmare’.
She remained “very proud” of her brother, who, despite his young age, had a clear goal: to become an engineer.
Tributes poured in on social media for the young student whose family immigrated to Australia from Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 2008.
“I went to grade school with Calvin and he was the nicest person, he had a heart of gold… life is so unfair sometimes, rest in peace Calvin,” one young woman wrote on Instagram.
A youth group to which the boy belonged posted a tribute to Facebook, saying he was “kind and gentle” and could always be relied upon.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of our beloved… friend and brother, Calvin Wijeweera,” the Tharuna Youth Group announced on Saturday.
Calvin Wijeweera, 17, was killed after a car driven by a 90-year-old woman hit him and pinned him under a van (pictured from right to left: Calvin, his mother Anoma, his father Sandun and sister Ovindi)
Footage showed what appeared to be an elderly woman being carried into an ambulance before the van drove off under lights and sirens (pictured)
“He was a kind and gentle person, who worked incredibly hard and was always welcomed with a smile.”
The post said the boy “participated in many events, fundraisers and concerts, always bringing happiness and dedication to everything he did.”
“He was someone we could always count on and we will miss him.”
NSW Detective Inspector Jason Hogan explained that the test results done on the driver would take several weeks and she had yet to be interviewed.
Mr Hogan confirmed the investigation is ongoing and will look into several lines of inquiry, including speeding and whether the woman suffered a medical episode while driving.
Det. Insp. Hogan described the deadly crash as “gripping” to first responders.
“It was very traumatic for the initial responding police officers and the ambulance that provided first aid to both 17-year-old boys,” Mr Hogan said.
“It is very distressing when they end up in such situations. It is very distressing for the local community, the school and the family.
“Unfortunately, a very, very tragic situation and at this time of year it will be very, very detrimental to the [boy’s] family and friends.’
The NSW Department of Education said counseling is being offered to students and families after Calvin’s tragic death.
“We are deeply saddened by the death of a Carlingford High School student,” a spokesman said.
“Our thoughts are with the student’s family, friends and entire school community at this difficult time.
‘The school is in contact with the families. Welfare support is offered to students and staff, with extra supervisors deployed at school today and tomorrow.’
The boy died on the spot while his friend was taken to Westmead hospital with head injuries