Central West NSW: Jayden El Jer, 5, killed in floods

The five-year-old boy’s final hours have been revealed after he tragically died in the floods in NSW’s Central West.

Jayden El Jer had spent the day at Dubbo Zoo with his parents and two siblings on Friday before they ran into trouble while traveling back to Sydney.

The family’s Toyota Hilux became submerged in floodwaters at the Genaren Creek crossing about 8pm with all five of them becoming trapped inside.

Parents Joseph El Jer and Pam Hadchity desperately escaped the vehicle with their baby Bachir and three-year-old daughter Valentina in hand, but their eldest Jayden was trapped inside.

The family clung to trees screaming for help while the Hilux sunk into floodwaters with Jayden inside.

His body was found by police divers around 3.20pm Saturday after they located the submerged car.

A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.

Ms Hadchity had posted to social media just hours before the incident, showcasing the family’s day at the zoo and using the hashtag #live.

She also showed the family traversing through the flooded roads the day before the tragedy, as they made their way through the Central West.

Ms Hadchity described herself as a “mother of three angels” and said her children were “her world”.

On Hayden’s fifth birthday back in March, she said her son made her “proud, glad, happy and I will always be your biggest fan love you so much”.

Mr El Jer also marked the day by saying “I love you my little man” and “you make me proud to call you my son”.

Jayden had only started kindergarten this year at Christ the King Primary School in North Rocks, Sydney.

“I am writing to share some very sad news with you. Over the weekend, one of our Kindergarten students Jayden lost his life in an accident caused by flooding in Central West NSW,” the school’s principal Tony Hughes said in a statement.

“Our entire community will be deeply affected by this tragic loss of our friend and classmate, Jayden. Jayden joined our caring community at the beginning of 2022.

“This is a very distressing time for Jayden’s family, for his classmates and for our staff. For many students, the news of Jayden’s death will bring with it a range of strong feelings.”

He said additional support and counseling would be available to students during the challenging time.

“It is important that we give our young people the opportunity to talk about what they are experiencing and to support them to feel safe and heard,” Mr Hughes said.

“I have arranged for additional counseling to be available at school once students return on October 11.

“There will be an opportunity soon for our caring community to reach out and offer kindness and support to Jayden’s family. I will provide you with more information when it is appropriate to do so.”

Originally published as Jayden El Jer’s final family outing before tragic flood death

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