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Parents’ heartbreaking eulogy after son’s school death

A heartbreaking eulogy written by the parents of Andrew Encinas, one of the boys killed when an SUV crashed into his classroom, has been read out at the nine-year-old’s funeral.

The eulogy was read out at the service at Rookwood Cemetry and included a sad introduction.

“You never expect to write a eulogy for a nine-year-old son,” mourners heard.

The crowd wept for a “gentle” and “cheeky” boy who used to give shoulder massages as a way distracting his parents from sending him to bed.

He loved tearing about the football field but had other passions that were childish and broad, including lollies, playing cubby houses, X-Box with his brothers and cooking homemade pizzas.

“This year he wanted a vegetable garden for his birthday, he’d even planted the seeds and watered.”

Special thanks was also given to emergency services and the school community.

Hundreds turned out for the boy’s funeral.
Hundreds turned out for the boy’s funeral.Picture: Richard Dobson

Blue balloons were released into the sky before the crowd swarmed around the boy’s parents and brothers to embrace and give their condolences.

Hundreds of mourners, many wearing brightly coloured football jerseys, attended the service for Andrew.

The budding and enthusiastic soccer player died in the same horrific crash as his friend Jihad Darwiche, aged 8, at Banksia Road Public School last Tuesday morning.

Close family wore Real Madrid jerseys carrying the Panania boy’s name on the back today.

Others mourners wore their own team’s colours, in a nod to the boy’s passion for the game.

A small blue coffin arrived in the back of a hearse. Mourners surrounded the car and paused for reflection before filing into the chapel.

Supporters of the Darwiche family, including Jihad’s father Raed Darwiche, also arrived to show their respects.

The scene of the fatal crash.
The scene of the fatal crash.Picture: Jonathan Ng

The funeral comes four days after Jihad Darwiche was farewelled at Lakemba Mosque and six days after the pair died when an SUV smashed into their classroom at Banksia Road Primary School in Greenacre.

Maha Al-Shennag, 52, has been charged with dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm and causing actual bodily harm by misconduct in relation to the incident.

The makeshift memorial to the two boys continues to grow outside the school, as mourners add more flowers, balloons and tributes to the children killed in their English lesson.

“It’s so upsetting, it’s just absolutely awful,” Raja Baghdadi, the mother of a kindergarten student at the school, told The Daily Telegraph.

“I hope the funerals and this memorial can bring the families some peace.”

Last week the father of Jihad Darwiche forgave Al-Shennag over the accident.

In a video recorded in the hearse carrying his young son’s coffin, the distraught dad said forgiveness was “the way a proper Muslim acts in a time of calamity and tribulation”.

On Sunday the NSW Opposition called for a statewide assessment of traffic in and around schools in response to the accident.

“We need to take a snapshot and look at any possible scenarios we can to improve conditions in and around schools,” Opposition education spokesman Jihad Dib said.

Mr Dib said the audit should extend to inside school grounds including car parks.

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