Victorian man Duncan Craw killed in suspected shark attack in South Australia


Mr Craw’s devastated family released a statement on Friday confirming the likely manner of the man’s death, and described their shock and grief.

“We wish this was all a bad dream,” the statement read.

“It’s also impossible to fully explain the hole this will leave behind in the lives of all the relatives and friends who love Duncan.

Duncan Craw.

“The exact circumstances of Duncan’s disappearance are not yet known but given the recovery of a damaged wetsuit and the sighting of a Great White in the area on Thursday, it looks like a shark was involved.”

The family said Mr Craw was a keen snorkeller and “accepted the dangers he may face in the ocean”.

“He was extremely unlucky this time,” they said.

Mr Craw was due to celebrate his 33rd birthday this Saturday, and leaves behind his wife Taylia and young son Levi.

He was a hardworking operations manager at an agriculture contracting company in Warrnambool, and a beloved member of his local cricket team, according to his family.

“He was a cheerful, loving, helpful son. He was a kind and cheeky brother to his sisters. He was a fun-loving, mischievous and supportive mate who had a heart of gold,” the statement continued.

Jason Willie, President of the Woolsthorpe ‘Warriors’ Cricket Club, said his club was grieving the loss of their friend.

“Duncan’s spirit and personality made him a popular and unforgettable member of the club and community,” Mr Willie said.

Mr Craw’s family thanked the emergency crews and volunteers who search for the missing snorkeller.

“We will never forget Duncan and we will make sure his memory lives on,” they said.

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Report: Biden killed 52K American jobs on day 1 in office


Joe Biden holds up a mask as Kamala Harris looks on during an event at the State Dining Room of the White House January 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 4:40 PM PT – Thursday, January 21, 2021

During his first day in office, Joe Biden killed around 52,000 American jobs and cut billions in wages as the country continues to struggle with staggering unemployment caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Republicans from Alaska to Washington have already called the Biden administration’s agenda into question after he pulled the brakes on major sources for American energy.

“He rejoined the Paris climate agreement, putting the United States back in a position to exercise global leadership,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. “And advancing the objectives of the ambitious agreement.”

On Thursday, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel slammed Biden’s decision to undo President Trump’s efforts to put American workers first. McDaniel took to Twitter to point out several moves Biden has already made that put Americans on the backburner. These include canceling the Keystone XL pipeline and rejoining the Paris climate agreement.

McDaniel said these moves show that Biden started his administration by putting the American worker, American unions and American energy prices last.

According to reports, blocking construction of the Keystone XL pipeline will cost 10,000 American jobs and take $2.2 billion in payroll out of American workers’ pockets. This fact is highlighted by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who said the order will stifle economic growth.

Portman was among the first to respond to Biden’s environmental orders, urging him to reconsider.

 

Alaska’s governor also criticized Biden for putting a quick stop to oil development projects in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

On Wednesday, almost immediately after Biden announced the temporary ban on oil and gas activities in the region, Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R-Alaska) released a statement.

He said the state practices responsible development, adding if the current administration intends to make good on Biden’s campaign promises to stop drilling on federal lands, Alaskans’ economic future will be in danger.

Dunleavy concluded by stating he will use every resource possible to fight for his constituents’ right to a job and their ability to pursue every opportunity.

Meanwhile, in his press conference Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy made it clear Republicans do not see these orders as moves in the direction of “unity.”

“You can’t achieve that [unity] if your focus is more on the Paris Accord, ending the Keystone pipeline,” he said. “Those are not the achievements that I think America wants to see out of Washington and unity.”

Moving forward, Republican lawmakers are calling for a review of the U.S.’s involvement in the Paris Climate Agreement, arguing Biden needs two-thirds support from the Senate to rejoin the international treaty.

MORE NEWS: Sen. McConnell: Biden Admin. Taking Big Steps In Wrong Direction



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Boy, 16, killed after being thrown from vehicle in horror QLD crash


A 16-year-old boy has died following a single-car crash near Yeppoon.

Initial investigations indicate the silver Ford Falcon sedan was travelling south on Appleton Drive near the Fig Tree Creek Bridge shortly after midnight when the vehicle left the road and rolled.

The Taranganba teen was thrown from the vehicle.

He pronounced dead at the scene.

Two other occupants, the 18-year-old male driver and 16-year-old female passenger, were treated for minor injuries before being taken to the Rockhampton Base Hospital.

Queensland Police are appealing for anyone with dashcam vision or who may have noticed the vehicle in the area around midnight to come forward.

The Forensic Crash Unit continues to investigate the cause of the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Policelink or Crime Stoppers, using reference number QP2100127807 within the online suspicious activity form.

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Six rangers killed in DR Congo's Virunga National Park



Six rangers killed in DR Congo's Virunga National Park

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Woman and three young daughters killed in Glen Waverley blaze


The sisters, aged three, five and seven, died in the fire along with their mother.Credit:

But it was too late. Detective Senior Sergeant Neville Major said emergency crews found the bodies of Kaoru Okano, and her three young daughters, aged three, five and seven, “huddled together in the en suite”.

He said an injured man in his 50s “connected” to the young family remained under police guard at The Alfred hospital. Police were not expecting to interview him for at least 24 hours because he was intubated and unconscious, Detective Senior Sergeant Major said.

“The premises … here in Glen Waverley has been engulfed in flames and tragically four people perished,” Senior Sergeant Major said.

“There was a lot of damage in the garage area, and the house has been engulfed in smoke.

“We’re very much in the infancy of our investigation at this stage, but what we do have is some information that it’s a Japanese family, and it’s a mother and her three children.

“We are appealing to the public. If anyone saw anything of any nature that may be noteworthy for police, please contact Crimestoppers.”

Grieving relatives and friends visited the home on Sunday afternoon. Police and arson squad detectives are investigating.

Neighbour Bianca Ortolan and her fiance said they were woken by “really loud bangs”, which they initially thought were gunshots.

“It wasn’t till our house filled with smoke that we realised something was going on and we came out to the street,” she said on Sunday morning. “We heard screaming. It just sounded like the man was screaming for help.”

Ms Ortolan and her mother, Debra Ortolan, helped to care for another woman and her three small sons who lived next to the home.

Bianca (left) and Debra Ortolan were woken by explosions.

Bianca (left) and Debra Ortolan were woken by explosions. Credit:Scott McNaughton

“She said she lived next door and heard the explosion, saw the smoke and just grabbed her kids and ran out,” Mrs Ortolan said.

“It’s just horrific, absolutely heartbreaking to not be able to do anything.

“The garage, where I believe the fire started, was full of rubbish, oils and chemicals, it was chocka-block full.

“I believe he worked at or owned a Japanese restaurant … there were three small girls that lived there, you’d see them walking down to the lake.

The fire is believed to have started in the garage.

The fire is believed to have started in the garage.Credit:Scott McNaughton

“Talking to the neighbour, she said there was no way to get out of the back, and the porch, front door and garage were all on fire by the time she escaped and the fire trucks arrived … There’s a three-storey drop behind the house to the freeway; there’s no other way to escape.”

Another neighbour, Steve Mizeracki, said he woke just before 2am to sirens and saw ambulances, fire trucks and police vehicles parked along the street.

From the balcony of his townhouse, he could see a “big cloud of smoke” billowing from the burning home. “The smoke was very white, it was big, huge. Like a big cloud,” he said.

Residents of neighbouring homes were asked to leave their homes and their properties were inspected for fire damage. A community warning was later issued for smoke in the area.

Police investigators have been told the blaze started at the Tulloch Grove property just after 1.40am.

Police investigators have been told the blaze started at the Tulloch Grove property just after 1.40am.Credit:Nine News

Mr Mizeracki said he had lived in the area for 20 years, and it was “normally very quiet”: children played in the street and people walked their dogs on a typical Sunday morning.

“Nothing like this ever happens here. I’m very sad,” he said.

By 6pm, police tape blocking off Tulloch Grove was removed, and mourners started leaving flowers by a street sign near the townhouse.

One woman, who did not want to be named, left what she said were some of Mrs Okano’s favourite Japanese snacks – three bottles of fruit juice and a packet of ‘Pocky’ chocolate biscuit sticks – by the makeshift memorial.

Nilanthie De Silva, who also lives on the street, said the smoke from the fire was so thick that she and her husband had to wear an N95 mask.

Police at the scene of the fire.

Police at the scene of the fire.Credit:Scott McNaughton

“I feel sad just talking about it … we jumped out of bed. We didn’t know where it was, but there were so many fire trucks outside,” she said.

“I haven’t slept. We have had a terrible year, and now to start the year like this is so unsettling.

“There’s lots of townhouses, and plenty of people are renting so they are in and out. Some of these townhouses only have one entrance. If there’s a fire, how do you get out?”

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.

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Farm worker from Timor Leste killed in Tasmanian crash



A 25-year-old Timor Leste man has been killed in a car crash on a private farm in Tasmania’s north.

The body of the man, who was working as a berry picker at the farm in Exton, near Deloraine, was found just before 6:00am Sunday.

Tasmania Police Inspector Ruth Orr said the man was driving a car on the property late Saturday night when he lost control negotiating a right-hand bend and was thrown out the car window.

“The car slid into an embankment and rolled into that embankment and rolled about 20 metres or so,” Inspector Orr said.

The man had a valid international drivers licence, but was not wearing a seatbelt — a factor Ms Orr said contributed to his death.

“Despite the fact this happened on a private property rather than a public street, it’s advisable to put your seatbelt on and drive to the conditions,” she said.

“Seatbelts save lives, particularly if the vehicle is involved in a rollover.”

Drugs and alcohol are not believed to have contributed to the crash.

Police are still investigating why the man, who lived in a workers residence on the farm, was driving at night.

Fellow workers in mourning

The farm, which supplies berries for Driscolls, employs a large number of seasonal workers, most of whom are from Timor Leste.

About 50 workers crowded around the site of the crash today in an impromptu grieving ceremony.

The man worked alongside his cousin. And he leaves behind a wife in his home country.

He had also worked on the farm last season.

Inspector Orr said the employees he worked alongside were very distressed.

“Because he worked here last year, he’s quite well known to the farm owner-operator,” she said.

“The other seasonal workers are quite upset about it, which is completely understandable.”

Complicated path back home

Inspector Orr said the process of repatriating the man’s body to Timor Leste was long.

“We’re working with the ambassador to Timor Leste through their embassy to get the appropriate authorisations,” she said.

“Firstly he’ll go to Hobart, where he’ll remain for the foreseeable future while we work through the coronial investigation and then at the earliest opportunity there’ll be arrangements made through the embassy to get his body back to Timor Leste, but I couldn’t  say how long that would take.”

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Woman and three children killed after fire engulfs Glen Waverley house


Police and arson squad detectives are investigating.

Bianca Ortolan and her fiancé said they were woken by “really loud bangs”, which they initially thought were gunshots.

Bianca, left, and Debra Ortolan were woken by explosions. A woman and three children were killed in the blaze.Credit:Scott McNaughton

“It wasn’t ’til our house filled with smoke that we realised something was going on and we came out to the street,” she said on Sunday morning. “We heard screaming. It just sounded like the man was screaming for help.”

Ms Ortolan and her mother, Debra Ortolan, helped to care for another woman and her three small sons who lived next to the home.

“She said she lived next door and heard the explosion, saw the smoke and just grabbed her kids and ran out,” Mrs Ortolan said.

“It’s just horrific, absolutely heartbreaking to not be able to do anything.

Police at the scene of the fire.

Police at the scene of the fire.Credit:Scott McNaughton

“The garage, where I believe the fire started, was full of rubbish, oils and chemicals, it was chocka-block full.

“I believe he worked at or owned a Japanese Restaurant … there was three small girls that lived there, you’d see them walking down to the lake.

“Talking to the neighbour, she said there was no way to get out of the back, and the porch, front door and garage was all on fire by the time she escaped and the fire trucks arrived … There’s a three-storey drop behind the house to the freeway, there’s no other way to escape.”

Another neighbour, Steve Mizeracki, said he woke just before 2am to sirens and saw ambulances, fire trucks and police vehicles parked along the street.

Police investigators have been told the blaze started at the Tulloch Grove property just after 1.40am.

Police investigators have been told the blaze started at the Tulloch Grove property just after 1.40am.Credit:Nine News

From the balcony of his townhouse, he could see a “big cloud of smoke” bellowing from the burning home. “The smoke was very white, it was big, huge. Like a big cloud,” he said.

Residents of neighbouring homes were asked to leave their homes and their properties inspected for fire damage. A community warning was later issued for smoke in the area.

Mr Mizeracki said he had lived in the area for 20 years, and it was “normally very quiet”: children played in the street and people walked their dogs on a typical Sunday morning.

“Nothing like this ever happens here. I’m very sad,” he said.

A section of Tulloch Grove remained cordoned off by police on Sunday morning.

Nilanthie De Silva, who also lives on the street, said the smoke from the fire was so thick that she and her husband had to wear a N95 mask.

“I feel sad just talking about it … we jumped out of bed. We didn’t know where it was, but there were so many fire trucks outside,” she said.

“I haven’t slept. We have had a terrible year, and now to start the year like this is so unsettling.

“There’s lots of townhouses, and plenty of people are renting so they are in and out. Some of these townhouses only have one entrance. If there’s a fire, how do you get out?”

A man, believed to be in his 50s, was taken to The Alfred hospital with serious injuries.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.

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Police officer killed in U.S. Capitol riot wanted to be in law enforcement from an early age


From his early days growing up in a New Jersey hamlet, Brian Sicknick wanted to be a police officer.

He enlisted in the U.S. National Guard six months after graduating high school in 1997, deploying to Saudi Arabia and then Kyrgyzstan. Joining the Guard was his means to joining law enforcement, his family said.

He would join the U.S. Capitol Police in 2008, serving until his death Thursday after being attacked as rioters seething over President Donald Trump’s election loss stormed the U.S. Capitol, believing the president’s false claims of a rigged election.

“His brother told me, ‘Brian did his job,”‘ said John Krenzel, the mayor of Sicknick’s hometown of South River, N.J.

Sicknick’s death has shaken the U.S. as it grapples with how an armed mob could storm the halls of the U.S. Capitol as the presidential election results were being certified, sending hundreds of lawmakers, staff and journalists fleeing for safety. Videos published online show vastly outnumbered Capitol Police officers trying in vain to stop surging rioters, though other videos show officers not moving to stop rioters in the building.

A native of South River, N.J., Sicknick served in the New Jersey Air National Guard and went on to a law enforcement career, which his family said was his lifelong dream. (U.S. Capitol Police via The Associated Press)

Police leadership badly miscalculated the threat despite weeks of signals that Wednesday could get violent. And they refused Pentagon help three days before the riot, and again as the mob descended. Under withering criticism, the police chief resigned as have the chief security officers for both the U.S. House and Senate.

The Capitol Police said in a statement that Sicknick was injured “while physically engaging with protesters.” During the struggle, Sicknick, 42, was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, two law enforcement officials said. The officials could not discuss the ongoing investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Sicknick was the youngest of three boys growing up in South River, a small borough of about 16,000 people in central New Jersey, about 25 kilometres from Staten Island. He graduated from the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School in East Brunswick, N.J., in June 1997.

Superintendent Dianne Veilleux said school records show Sicknick wanted to be in law enforcement. The school will honour him by planting an oak tree on campus to symbolize his strength.

He enlisted in the New Jersey Air National Guard that December, still a teenager, first deploying to Saudi Arabia in 1999. In 2003, he deployed to Kyrgyzstan, where the U.S. military operated a transit base supporting the war in Afghanistan. He was honourably discharged in December of that year.

Vocal critic of U.S. war in Iraq

After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Sicknick became a vocal critic of the war, writing several letters to the editor of the local newspaper that sharply criticized former president George W. Bush for his management of the effort. In one July 2003 letter, published five months before his formal discharge, he said that “our troops are stretched very thin, and morale is dangerously low among them.”

In a statement issued Friday, Sicknick’s family said he “wanted to be a police officer his entire life” and had joined the Guard “as a means to that end.”

A biography issued by his family says Sicknick cared for rescued Dachshunds in his spare time and rooted for the New Jersey Devils. He is survived by his parents, Charles and Gladys Sicknick, his brothers Ken and Craig, and his longtime girlfriend, Sandra Garza.

The family asked the public to respect its wishes “in not making Brian’s passing a political issue.”

“Brian is a hero and that is what we would like people to remember,” the family said.

The Capitol police chief has resigned amid questioning about how prepared the force was for a rally that turned into a riot on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. 2:27

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How loved-ones are honouring the memory of those killed in Iran’s Flight 752 air disaster


Twelve months after an Iranian missile shot down a plane carrying 176 people, including 55 Canadians and many others with strong ties here, people are honouring and remembering the victims in their own ways.

CBC’s The National spoke to family and friends of several of the victims of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 about their legacies, and how cherished memories continue to be held close.

Mohammad Abaspour and Zahra Naghibi

Zahra Naghibi, left, and her husband Mohammad Abaspour were killed when Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down on Jan. 8, 2020, shortly after taking off from Tehran’s airport. (Abaspour family)

Marzieh Abaspour makes weekly visits to the memorial built along the waterfront in Windsor, Ont.

“I usually come here with flowers, and I put the flowers on their bench and sit there and talk to them.”

Abaspour lost her older brother Mohammad and his wife Zahra Naghibi on Ukranian International Airlines Flight 752, but she still feels the pain like it was yesterday.

“Every place we go we have memories with them,” she said, through tears.

The 34-year-old engineering student had moved to Windsor with her husband in 2019 at the encouragement of Mohammad and Zahra.

“We had only one year difference in age, and we were very close,” Abaspour explained. “He was very supportive, and also Zahra was very supportive. She was like a sister to me.”

Marzieh Abaspour and her husband had been in Canada for only four months when her brother decided to head home to Iran over the Christmas holidays.

On the day her brother and his wife were to return to Canada, Abaspour recalls hearing the news that a plane had crashed in Iran. Just hours earlier, she had talked to him and offered to pick him up from Toronto’s Pearson Airport, but he’d insisted she didn’t need to make the four-hour drive.

“I checked the flight tracker site and I could see the flight is on the way. I couldn’t believe that was their plane that crashed,” Abaspour recalled, sobbing.

But soon she would confirm with family in Iran that her brother and sister-in-law had indeed been on that flight.

A memorial on the Windsor waterfront includes a bench with a plaque dedicated to the victims of Flight 752. (CBC)

A year later, Abaspour walks the riverfront with her husband regularly, visiting a newly installed memorial dedicated to five victims of the crash who called Windsor home. A tree planted in their memory is a fitting tribute, says Abaspour, for the couple who loved nature.

“My favourite memory with them [is] every year we had a place in Iran, it was a special place on the mountain,” she says, remembering their annual trips to their hometown of Filband.

In one of Mohammad’s instagram posts he wrote: “I hope in my next life I will be a bird living in Filband.”

Marizeh Abaspour visits the memorial in Windsor, Ont., dedicated to the victims of Flight 752, including her brother Mohammad and sister-in-law Zahra Naghbibi. 0:45

She touches a plaque engraved on a bench, speaking a few words to her brother and sister-in-law.

“I miss them,” she said. “We had lots of fun here together in the same place. And I want to meet them again somewhere.”

Abaspour hopes to create another plaque describing her brother and sister- in-law, maybe with a photo, so everyone who visits knows who they are.

Dr. Shekoufeh Choupannejad

Shekoufeh Choupannejad, centre, with her daughters Saba, left, and Sarah Saadat. Choupannejad worked as an obstetrician and gynecologist. (Supplied by Mehdi Hashemi)

Shayesteh Majdnia has no specific place to visit to remember her late friend, Dr. Shekoufeh Choupannejad. Instead, Majdnia honours her by giving back.

“[She was] always a kind, giving person. This is how I remember Shekoufeh,” Majdnia said.

The Edmonton doctor was killed aboard Flight 752, along with her adult daughters, Sarah and Saba.

Majdnia says the OB-GYN was known in the community for her generous spirit, often opening her door to Iranian women who were dealing with language barriers while trying to access medical care.

“I would pick up the phone and ask her, ‘do you have time to see a community member, a newcomer in the city?’ And she would say, ‘If I don’t have the time, I’ll stay longer in my clinic,'” Madjnia recalled.

“For me to keep her legacy, I thought the best way is to live the life that she lived once.”

Shayestah Madjnia honours the legacy of her friend Dr. Shekoufeh Choupannejad by giving back to the community, in memory of her friend’s generous spirit. 0:33

A well-known fundraiser in the community, Majdnia set out to help 29 families in need over the holidays, in honour of the 29 children killed aboard Flight 752. She has now helped more than 200 families, organizing sponsors to donate holiday hampers.

“If she was still with us, I am 100 per cent sure she would be the first one to donate,” Majdnia said.

Elsa Jadidi

A photo taken of Elsa Jadidi in Tehran on the night of the Flight 725 crash. (Jadidi family)

Among the 29 children on Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was 8-year-old Elsa Jadidi.

“When I heard the yelling and screaming from the teacher’s area, I ran there and I was asking, ‘What’s the commotion? What’s going on?,'” recalled Elsa’s principal, Majida Saab. “They told me, ‘We think Elsa and her mom were on that plane.'”

News of the third grader’s death was devastating to both teachers and students at the small private school in Scarborough, Ont., where Elsa is remembered as a kind and generous little girl with a bright smile.

“I’ve been a teacher for more than 20 years, and you see so many brilliant kids,” Saab said. “But there are some students that will actually stand out and you’ll remember them forever. Elsa was one of those stellar students.”

Sahar Haghjoo, left, and her daughter Elsa Jadidi. (Habib Haghjoo/The Canadian Press)

Elsa’s name is now engraved on an award, given to a student who embodies the same qualities that made her so special.

“We wanted to create a lasting tribute for our dear Elsa, and to ensure that her amazing qualities and her memory will be celebrated, and those qualities can be recognized for many years to come,” Saab said.

The inaugural recipient, 10-year-old Abbas Muhammad, said he wished he’d had a chance to know Elsa better, having only seen her in passing through the hallways at school.

Elsa Jadidi’s school, Al Haadi in Scarborough, Ont., created the Elsa Jadidi Award last year to honour the eight-year-old who was lost on Flight 752. 0:44

“I heard that she was a good student, and she behaved,” he said. “She was kind and caring.”

While he sometimes feels sad thinking of Elsa, the fifth grader says he is proud to be named in her company.

“It makes me feel good that I am a good student [like her], I do all my homework, and I behave well,” he said.

Mohammad and Zeynab Asadi-Lari

Zeynab Asadi-Lari, left, and her brother Mohammad. (Asadi-Lari family)

Many of the victims aboard flight 752 were brilliant young students, with so much life and promise still ahead of them. Among them were 23-year-old Mohammad Asadi-Lari and his younger sister Zeynab, both students at the University of Toronto.

“They were working for the betterment of the communities and they were thinking of those who are vulnerable,” said Dr. Bijan Dastgheib, remembering his cousin’s children as outstanding students who had achieved so much at their young ages.

“Both of them wanted to help deeply on a larger scale, to make changes.”

The siblings’ achievements are outlined in a book published by their parents, set to be translated into English as Two Rising Stars. The compilation of letters serves as a reminder that the siblings’ short lives had impact.

“It is beyond unthinkable she will no longer have the opportunity to pursue her dreams,” reads a letter from one of Zeynab’s professors. “Future patients have been robbed of the opportunity to be cared for by someone so dedicated and talented.”

The fourth-year biology and health science student, just 21 years old, had her research on colorectal cancer published posthumously. Zeynab was known as a fierce advocate for mental health, and was an aspiring doctor.

Mohammad Asadi-Lari, left, and his sister Zeynab Asadi-Lari, right, were both students at the University of Toronto. (Mohammad Asadi Lari/Twitter/Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Mohammad was an MD/Phd student who was involved with a long list of organizations, including UNESCO and the Canadian Red Cross. He helped found the Canadian Association for Physicians and Entrepreneurs. In December, Mohammad received the Posthumous Single Award of Merit from the Canadian Medical Association for his outstanding leadership.

Dastgheib, a surgeon in Toronto, says he continues to be inspired by the young man’s passion.

“I don’t consider myself to be his mentor, I think I learned a lot from him,” Dastgheib said. “I think we get absorbed in what we do as clinicians, and along the way we lose the passion, we forget what’s important. And the passion he had will always be with us.”

Dr. Bijan Dastgheib reads from a book of tributes published by the parents of Mohammad and Zeynab Asadi-Lari. 0:32

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Heartbreak in Wellington following car crash that killed two boys


Jacob Donn has been arrested following the crash. Credit:Facebook

The children’s mother Shayleen Frail, 34, is in a stable condition at Westmead Hospital after being airlifted to Sydney on Wednesday. A 9-year-old child has been discharged from Wellington Hospital and a 10-year-old is still at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead with serious leg injuries.

“Obviously this incident is a complete tragedy, a tragedy for the family and also for the township of Wellington,” acting superintendent Natalie Antaw of the Orana Mid-Western Police District said.

“We have liaison officers in contact with the family. Obviously they are grief-stricken in relation to the accident and the loss of their children.”

Mark Stanley, a witness who has known the boys’ mother for years and lives metres from where the crash happened on the quiet suburban street, said he was talking to the family seconds before the accident.

Mr Stanley said Sheldon and Shane were “lovely boys” and had been all smiles after just leaving the local pool.

Following the crash, people from surrounding houses came rushing to the tragic scene, trying in vain to help the severely wounded children.

Mr Stanley said their mother could be heard crying, “My babies, my babies.”

He believes the accident will be a major blow to the tight-knit local community.

The children's mother Shayleen Frail, 34, is in a stable condition at Westmead Hospital.

The children’s mother Shayleen Frail, 34, is in a stable condition at Westmead Hospital.

“We are all family around here,” he said.

Another resident, ex-police officer Herb Smith walked outside after hearing sirens and saw “a number of people hysterical”.

“People were screaming, ‘There’s children under the car, there’s children under the car!’ It was a chaotic scene,” he said.

Witnesses reported that the driver may have been doing burnouts and doughnuts when he allegedly lost control of the vehicle. On Wednesday morning, erratic skid marks on the road had been marked by forensic investigators and appeared to show how the car had mounted the curb and collided with a fence.

“The manner of driving … is certainly a line of inquiry that will be followed up in the investigation,” superintendent Antaw said on Wednesday.

Mr Donn was found at a home in Wellington at about 8.40pm. He allegedly ran from police and was arrested in an alleyway behind the house.

The street where two young boys were killed by an out of control vehicle on Tuesday.

The street where two young boys were killed by an out of control vehicle on Tuesday. Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

Police took mandatory blood and urine tests from the man and are awaiting the results.

Wellington residents have started to pay tribute to the Shorey boys at the crash site, leaving flowers, balloons and teddy bears on Wednesday morning.

Tarryn Burson, a friend of the boys’ father, Joseph Shorey, has set up a GoFundMe page for the family.

Ms Burson said Joseph, who lives in Queensland, had sent the children back to Wellington for time with their mother and community “and the most tragic accident happened”.

“I cannot fathom the pain he and all the mob are going through right now,” she said.

Mr Donn was refused bail and will appear in court on Thursday.

With Megan Gorrey

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