191106 student accident
A four-year-old child died and her mother was seriously injured when they were run over in front of a school in Jebel Ali on Monday afternoon. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Parents and students at the Greenfields International School in Dubai Investment Park (DIP) are undergoing bereavement counselling after a four-year-old was killed in front of the school by a reversing car on Monday.

On November 4, at around 3.40pm, four-year old Insiya Vajhi of KG 2 was being picked up by her mother Tasnim Vajhi from the school when a car hit her while reversing. The student succumbed to her injuries while her mother sustained multiple fractures and was admitted with trauma injuries to a nearby hospital.

The funeral prayers of the deceased child was held at a mosque in Al Qusais on Tuesday.

The school authorities sent a circular to all parents expressing grief and shock over the tragedy. In the circular, Principal Allan Weston wrote: “Words cannot describe how difficult this time is for the entire school community. We are doing all that we can to provide support as we help each other through this most difficult of times. Today at school we have provided all day counselling support to the children and staff, and especially to those who knew Insiya well. We also have psychologists from The LightHouse on site to help provide guidance on how to communicate, counsel and support our primary and secondary students through this tragic period of grief and mourning...”

Taaleem group that runs the International Baccalaureate curriculum school has sent out two circulars, one from Principal Weston and the other from the head of the Primary section, Andrew Mitchellto, telling parents to get their wards to avail these sessions.

Parents who declined to be named, expressed sorrow at the tragedy. Many mothers of students remembered Insiya as a sweet and lively child. “The really young children from her class are unable to understand what happened and the school has assigned their homeroom teachers to take time out to speak to them as gently as possible about the incident. We have received a circular from the principal and head of Primary section regarding that,” said a mother.

Apart from school counsellors, the school has also hired specialised bereavement counsellors from a psychological counselling clinic in Dubai to help parents, staff and children transition through this difficult time.

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The school has cancelled all extra-curricular activities for the entire week to be able to hold counselling sessions.

“This accident was such a freak one, it could have happened anywhere. We are all shocked, wish we could have averted this. The entire school is going through feelings of guilt, sadness and shock and bereavement counsellors will hopefully help us get out of this darkness,” said another parent.

The school has cancelled all extra-curricular activities for the entire week to be able to hold these counselling sessions.

On Monday, Brigadier General Dr. Adel Al Suwaidi, Director of Jebel Ali Police Station, said police operation room was notified about the accident at about 3.40pm. He said the accident took place when a female motorist, reportedly African, was reversing her vehicle and accidentally stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake. Both mother and child were crushed between the moving vehicle and a parked one. The girl died on the spot while her mother suffered injuries was transported to a private hospital. Three other vehicles were parked adjacent to each other were also damaged.