Treat schoolchildren like your own, grieving dad tells drivers

Treat schoolchildren like your own, grieving dad tells drivers

JOHOR BARU - Do not allow children to open a vehicle's door by themselves.

The father of five-year-old kindergarten student Chan Zheng Yu, who died after falling out of a moving van, made this appeal yesterday to parents and school van drivers.

The tragedy, said Chan Seow Leong, 42, should serve to remind everyone not to take children's safety for granted.

"Drivers fetching kids to and from school should treat them like their own and make sure that the doors are properly locked before starting on their journey.

"Parents should also take the initiative to unlock and open the vehicle doors when their children arrive home instead of letting them do it by themselves. This is so that what happened to my son will not happen again," he said when met at the Johor Baru Tiong-Hua Association crematorium here yesterday.

Zheng Yu was the last remaining child on the van which was nearing his home in Kangkar, Pulai, at about 12.30pm on Friday when the vehicle door suddenly opened, causing him to fall and hit his head on the pavement.

Although the driver rushed Zheng Yu to the hospital, the boy died before he could be taken to the intensive care unit.

Chan said the family would not be taking up the matter with the 70-year-old driver, adding that he only took over the job from another man a month ago.

He also said that although the couple usually sent their children to school in the morning, the kids returned to their home in Kangkar Pulai flats by school van.

Zheng Yu's mother Chan Pooi Kuan, 40, described her youngest son as a "bubbly and active" child who did well in school.

Recalling her final interaction with Zheng Yu, the accountant sobbed: "When I sent him to the kindergarten earlier, he had told me that the sky was grey, as if it was going to rain. I told him off because the sky was clear then."

Zheng Yu's remains will be cremated at noon today.

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