'My baby passed away doing what he loved most' - dad's heartfelt tribute to son killed by falling goalpost
The father of an 8-year-old boy who died on Friday in Durban after being struck by falling goalposts during a soccer match paid tribute to his son with a heartfelt statement.
According to an earlier Algoa FM report, Netcare 911 paramedics on Friday evening responded to a call about a head injury at around 18:04 at a sports club.
"Reports from the scene indicate that an 8-year-old male was busy playing soccer when the goalposts fell over, crushing the patient," Netcare 911's Shawn Herbst said at the time.
The child was declared dead on the scene as a result of his severe injuries.
In the moving tribute, sent in a statement to East Coast Radio News Watch on Tuesday afternoon, Sahil Singh speaks of his son Kiyan's "gentle and sweet" nature, saying he "was the kindest and most thoughtful little angel who opened doors for his mum".
A distraught Singh starts by thanking those who have been there for the family during this difficult time, before moving on to reveal the incredible talents his son – a budding artist, musical prodigy and soccer player – possessed.
Singh goes on:
"He had the most curious little mind and when he set his mind to something, nothing could stand in his way. He taught himself to ride his bike – I took off his training wheels and turned to help Aran, and when I looked back he was riding on his own. He also potty trained himself – he went from nappies straight to underpants and never, ever soiled his underpants. He just simply decided he wanted to 'be a big boy'. He also went from breast milk to solids and never once used a bottle. This was a pattern with Kiyan to leap ahead in giant strides with whatever he set his mind to.
"He would send Tess Singh and I bizarre shopping lists – one day he asked for clear silicone, corn flour and food colouring – so he could make little silicone LEGO figures in moulds!!
"He was a budding artist and could draw incredibly well for a little 8-year-old with detail, contrast and intelligent shading."
'Whoever is culpable must take responsibility'
Durban newspaper The Post reported that Kiyan's grandfather, Pietermaritzburg lawyer Naren Sangham, said the family was considering their legal options after the tragic accident.
"We are in shock, disbelief and still trying to come to terms with the tragedy," Sangham told The Post on Wednesday as the family prepared for Kiyan's third-day memorial service.
"We need to get to the bottom of what caused this. For a goalpost not to have been secured. For a gust of wind to pick it up and cause this...." Sangham trailed off.
Sangham told the paper that the supervision of the children on the field was "totally inadequate" and "whoever is culpable must take responsibility".
All those who witnessed the incident have given statements to the police and an inquest docket has been opened.
Kiyan 'wouldn't follow the herd'
In the tribute, Singh, a well-known dermatologist in Durban, also speaks of being in the UK at the time of the accident, and receiving the call while shopping for a gift for Kiyan, who he says had become obsessed with soccer in the last few years and wanted to become a goalie.
"He would practise in his goals every day with his brother. He had several goalie kits and his wish list when I was in the UK was for the Manchester United kids goalie set. It was exactly what I was looking for when I received the call that there was an accident and had to immediately make arrangements to return home."
Singh also detailed Kiyan's musical talent, saying he would sit at the piano from the time he was a baby and could barely reach the keyboard "and plonk away".
"My baby soccer player passed away in his goals in the end doing what he absolutely loved the most. It was a cruel and merciless ending for his beautiful life. He will never be forgotten by anyone who knew him. Of this I'm certain."
- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter