Father's bedside vigil for family after daughter killed in Melbourne car attack

Thalia Hakin was five of people who lost their lives when a man drove a stolen car wildly in circles


The father of a 10-year-old Melbourne girl killed in a rampage by a crazed driver in the city is at the bedside of his wife and his nine-year-old daughter who were critically injured in the attack.

Thalia Hakin was one of five people who lost their lives when 26-year-old Dimitri Gargasoulos drove a stolen car wildly in circles at a busy intersection and then ploughed the car into pedestrians on Friday.

More than two dozen people were injured in the incident, which police say was not a terrorist attack.

Tony Hakin is at the bedside of his wife, Nathalie, and daughter, Maggie.

Thalia was a student at the city's Beth Rivkah Jewish day school. 

Rabbi Yehoshua Smukler, principal, told the JC: “Our hearts are broken at the tragic passing of Thalia. She was a well-loved student and friend in the school community.  

"Our deepest sympathies goes out to her family at this most difficult time.

"Our thoughts and tefillos (prayers), are with all the victims, their families and friends.
"We are providing support and counseling to the school community and our students in dealing with this tragedy."
Thalia and Maggie had attended a gym run by Israeli-born Avi Yemini.

Mr Yemini said: "We are all devastated by what has happened. When her mother and sister leave the hospital it will be to bury their loved one.

"When I found out the identity of this family I realised with a sick feeling in my gut that these little girls were students at our gym.

"Two little girls who came to class each week with bright and warm smiles. They were always happy and bubbly and I am heartbroken to know that they have been torn apart in this most senseless and horrific way."

Police ended the attack by ramming the car, shooting Gargasoulos in the arm and arresting him. Local TV networks broadcast footage of him driving the car wildly around the area, leaning out of a window and ploughing into pedestrians.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive