A social media post has unknowingly captured the final few hours of a five-year-old’s life before he died in floodwaters in NSW’s Central West.
Jayden El Jer had spent the day at Dubbo Zoo with his family on Friday before their Toyota Hilux became submerged in floodwaters on the way back to their holiday home at Tullamore at about 8pm.
His parents were able to free his three-year-old sister, Valentina, and baby brother, Bachir, from their car seats but couldn’t get to little Jayden.
While the family clutched at trees, screaming for help, their vehicle sank further into floodwaters with the five-year-old still trapped inside.
An extensive search for Jayden was carried out overnight before his body was tragically found by police divers at around 3.20pm on Saturday.
A video has since emerged of the family’s big day out at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, posted to TikTok on Friday by Jayden’s mother, Pamela Hadchity.
In the one and a half minute clip, a variety of animals including rinos, giraffes and elephants can be seen as the family makes its way around the zoo.
Several comments have already been left on the video in the wake of the tragedy.
“RIP the little boy,” one person wrote.
“Our condolences to you and your family,” said another. “May he rest in peace.”
An eerie premonition captured on film
A day before the family’s visit to the zoo, Ms Hadchity posted footage of the family’s road trip as they drove through a flooded road.
In the video from Thursday, the Toyota Hilux can be seen splashing through an inundated section of the road.
As water covers the bonnet and windscreen, the sound of children squealing in delight from the backseat is heard over the music as the lyrics play "this road trip is unforgettable".
The loss of a father's best mate
On Jayden’s fifth birthday in March, his dad Joseph El Jer expressed his love for his “first born and best mate” on Facebook.
“Thank you Lord for putting Jayden in our life for his beautiful smile and his kind heart,” the doting father wrote.
“I love you my little man, you make me proud to call you my son.”
While Ms Hadchity, who describes herself as a “mother of three angles”, said Jayden made her “proud, glad and happy”.
“I will always be your biggest fan,” she said.
“I love you so much.”
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