Wilrich Venter wanted to farm. This 15-year-old boy longed every day to escape from the classroom to the outside to go farming. Now his voice is suddenly silent after a car accident claimed his life this past weekend.
Wilrich and his father, Wilhelm, were driving on the R400 between Krugersdorp and Hartbeespoort on Friday afternoon when the accident happened.
Irma de Beer, Wilrich’s aunt, says that Wilhelm picked Wilrich up from Hoërskool Wagpos, an agricultural school in the North West, to spend the weekend at home. Wilrich was in the residence and returned to Gauteng every weekend to help his father farm, cut grass, roll bales and even drive a backhoe.
“They were driving in the direction of Krugersdorp to pick up a package when the accident happened,” says De Beer.
A car coming from the oncoming direction suddenly ended up in Wilhelm’s lane.
“Wilhelm tried to swerve to avoid an accident, but the oncoming car hit them. The passenger side, where Wilrich was sitting, sustained the worst damage.”
Wilhelm pulled Wilrich out of the vehicle, but he died after his neck was believed to be broken.
Wilhelm suffered minor injuries with two broken ribs and scratches on his head.
The motorist who hit them apparently only suffered a minor injury to his hand.
The police were called to the scene and a blood sample from the motorist was apparently taken for further tests as part of the culpable homicide investigation into the accident.
“It is a confused story and we are unsure what happened in the meantime, but hopefully we will soon get answers to our questions.”
According to De Beer, Wilhelm, Wilrich, his mother, Nerina, and his sister, Elandré, are a very close family and Wilrich’s sudden death has shaken them.
“Nerina last saw Wilrich last Monday and she never thought that he wouldn’t come home again on Friday. Wilhelm didn’t even get a chance to greet Wilrich properly.”
The Venter family hopes that Wilrich’s death will create an awareness among people to drive responsibly.
“Too many people do not care about their fellow human beings and the safety of others. This is the worst for me,” says De Beer.
Wilrich ‘beloved, friendly nature lover’
“Wilrich was a child who always wanted to be outside and work with his hands. His hands were not wrong for anything,” says De Beer.
“He was not a child who sat in front of a television and played video games. He would rather sit in a tree or go out early in the morning with his father to feed the animals.”
Wilrich’s biggest dream was to one day farm himself and therefore the decision to enroll in an agricultural school.
“He knew he had to go to school, but he really just wanted to farm.”
Wagpos High School remembered Wilrich in a tribute on Facebook as “the boy with the great love for farmers, for nature and his friends”.
“Your broad smile that greeted everyone on the stoeps with warmth, your kindness that you radiated and your sincerity will leave a sad silence on the stoeps.
“You will definitely be missed.”
The school also made counseling services available to Wilrich’s grade group and friends.
“The school provided a lot of support and is very focused on the children who were left behind.”
Some of his schoolmates will also attend Wilrich’s memorial service on Tuesday. The service will be held at 11:00 at the Base Church on Muldersdrift.
- The post has been amended since it was initially published – EDIT
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