The family of a Melbourne toddler who was struck and killed by a car in the city's east at the weekend have remembered the two-year-old as a "quiet and clever" boy who was the victim of an "unthinkable accident".
Joseph Thang Khat Siam Hatzaw, known as Khat Siam, was just three weeks shy of his third birthday when he was hit by the vehicle in a car park in Blackburn North on Saturday night while his family were attending a Burmese religious celebration.
The incident occurred just after 7pm, with the boy having succumbed to his injuries a short time later as his mother lay by his side.
It's understood Siam and his family were supporting his older sister during a dance routine when he "disappeared from his parents' view for a few minutes" and was struck. A second child was also reportedly injured during the ordeal, though they only suffered minor wounds, Nine News reported.
Khat Siam a 'quiet, clever' boy
The boy's devastated family made the brave decision to front media on Sunday with the assistance of a translator.
“I really miss my boy,” mother Cing Khaw Nuam told Seven News. "Wherever I go in the house, in the kitchen, when I see his clothes. It’s really difficult to cope.”
She described her son as a "quiet, clever" child who "loved Thomas the Tank Engine".
"It is so difficult to bear this grief but we are proud of him and ourselves," Ms Nuam told Nine News.
His father also spoke of the "special father-son bond" the pair shared.
Others close to the family have also since spoken of their grief, including one community leader with close ties to Siam, who said he is already dearly missed. Cing Sian Zuun, Siam's sister, spoke of his love for trains.
“I loved my baby (brother) so much,” she said. “He really loved buses and trains and fish and those kinds of (things).”
Man allegedly linked to incident arrested and released
On Sunday a 48-year-old Mooroolbark man who had stopped at the scene was arrested over the incident, though he was later release pending further inquiries.
While investigations are ongoing, police urge anyone who has any information to immediately contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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