LPT2 tragedy: Student waves goodbye to parents at campus, only to bury them the next day

KEMAMAN: On Saturday afternoon, Faris Najmi Arbain cheerfully waved goodbye to his parents after they dropped him off at the Politeknik Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah (POLISAS) campus where he was studying.

One day later, he was at the Pengkalan Kenangan Kerteh Muslim cemetery, burying his parents after they died in a car crash along the East Coast Highway 2 (LPT2) near Cheneh.

"I thought it was just a small accident. My world collapsed when I was told that both my parents had died," said the 19-year-old student.

His parents, Rosmayati Bakar, 48, and Arbain Baharudin, 47, who were teachers at the Sekolah Menengah Agama Persekutuan (SMAP) Kajang, died instantly when their Toyota Estima crashed at KM 274 of the LPT2 at 4pm.

However, his three siblings - Farah Najwa, 20; Faiqa Nabila, 10 and Fatin Najla, 12; sustained injuries and were treated at the Kemaman Hospital.

Faris Najmi said his family had dropped him off at school and were on their way to an aunt's house in Kerteh.

"They had dropped me off around 2.30pm. Only around an hour later, one of my siblings who was in the car texted me on WhatsApp, saying that they had been in an accident.

"I thought it was just a small accident," he said when met at the cemetery today.

Faris Najmi said he was in shock when his uncle came to POLISAS to get him and break the news that both his parents had died.

"I believe both my parents were probably tired and didn't manage to get any rest after sending me. They continued their journey to Kerteh," he said.

Faris Najmi said although he was shattered beyond words, he accepted it as fate.

"I am grateful that my elder sister and two younger siblings survived," he said.

Meanwhile, Rozeta Bakar, 47, the younger sister of Rosmayati, said her sister had earlier told her that they planned to spend the night at her home in Kerteh for the Thaipusam holiday.

"She said she wanted to come over and spend the night. I then prepared rice and dishes for them.

"She last messaged me at 3.15pm, asking me if I had prepared food for them," she said.

She said she was heartbroken as barely an hour later, she received a call saying that her sister and brother in law had died.

The couple also have two other children, Faris Najmi's twin Faris Najdi, 19, and Fitri Naim, 17.

"My siblings and I will discuss among ourselves on how we will care for the children," she said.

The couple were buried in a single grave at the Pengkalan Kenangan Muslim cemetery in Kampung Baru Kerteh around 12.30pm.

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