Melbourne car killing: a father waits…

January 21, 2017 by Henry Benjamin
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The father of the 10-yr-old Melbourne girl killed in a rampage by a crazed driver in the city’s CBD is at the bedside of his wife and his nine-yr-old daughter critically injured in the attack.

Thalia Hakin

Thalia Hakin was one of five people who lost their lives when 26-yr-old Dimitri Gargasoulos allegedly drove a stolen car wildly in circles at a busy intersection at Flinders and Swanston Streets in the CBD and then ploughed the car into pedestrians in nearby Bourke St. Reports originally said that around 20 people were injured in the incident…a number to  rise to almost 40.

The others victims killed were a 25-yr-old man, a 33-yr-old man, a 32-yr-old woman and a three-month baby boy. 37 people have been treated in hospital for injuries sustained during the rampage.

Victoria police say the incident was not a terrorist attack.

Tony Hakin has been at the hospital at the bedside of his wife Nathalie and their nine-yr-old daughter Maggie.

Thalia Hakin was a student a the city’s Beth Rivkah Jewish dayschool.

Rabbi Yehoshua Smukler, Principal of Yeshivah – Beth Rivkah Colleges said: “Our hearts are broken at the tragic passing of Thalia.  Thalia was a well-loved student and friend in the school community.  Our deepest sympathies goes out to her family at this most difficult time.

Our thoughts and Tefillos (prayers), are with all the victims, their families and friends.

We are providing support and counselling to the school community and our students in dealing with this tragedy.”

Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews said: “We mourn those who were killed by this evil criminal act and we offer our deepest condolences to their loved ones.

We grieve with them and we stand with the victims.

This crime has devastated families and directly affected many hundreds of people.

It has touched us all and we will carry it for years to come.”

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria’s president Jennifer Huppert stated: “The Jewish community is aghast at the terrible tragedy that unfolded in the CBD. Words cannot convey the sorrow we feel for all the victims and their families, and especially for the loss of Thalia and the devastation of her family. A tragedy beyond understanding.

We would like to thank the first responders, all medical staff involved and all those who came to the aid of the victims.”

Car driven at the intersection Melbourne with driver partly out of the window

Thalia and Maggie had attended the IDF Training gym run by Avi Yemini.

He said: “We are all devastated by what has happened. If/when her mother and sister leave the hospital it will be to bury their loved one.

When I found out the identity of this family I realised with a sick feeling in my gut that these little girls were students at our gym.

Two little girls who came to class each week with bright and warm smiles. They were always happy and bubbly and I am heartbroken to know that they have been torn apart in this most senseless and horrific way.”

Yemini has launched a campaign to raise funds for the family.

To donate:

Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) said: “This is a black day of grief and mourning for all Australians, and we are deeply shocked and horrified by this act of heinous violence. The killing of a child deserves special condemnation and leaves one speechless. Through tears and broken hearts, we extend our profound condolences to the families of the victims, the family of Thalia Hakin, and pray for the speedy and full recovery of the wounded. As we offer comfort to each other, today, we are all Victorians.”

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton told a media conference the driver had entered Bourke St where he drove “intentionally hitting pedestrians”. Police shot the driver in the arm.

He said the driver had “extensive family violence history”. He added: “He has come to out attention in many occasions in the past”. The driver had mental health and drug issues known to the police.

He had been charged last week on a family violence matter last week involving his brother and his mother’s partner.



4 Responses to “Melbourne car killing: a father waits…”
  1. Johnny says:

    Who proofreads this?
    A few typos in your article.

  2. Adrian Jackson says:

    No one was killed or injured when the nutter driver was doing “donuts” at the intersection of Flinders St and Swanston St outside Flinders St station, the deaths and injuries occurred in Bourke St Mall a few hundred meters further north.

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