The man who died in floodwaters in Sydney’s north-west while on the way to his first day in his dream job as a truck driver has been identified as Ayaz Younus.
Mr Younus, from Pakistan, called for help at 6.20am to say his vehicle, a new Toyota Camry hire car, was sinking on Cattai Ridge Road in Glenorie, police said. He stayed on the phone to the triple zero operator for 44 minutes until contact was lost.
His roommate Imran Ahmad told the Herald the pair had met about a year and a half ago but had started living together last year. He said Mr Younus, a software engineering graduate, set off on Wednesday morning, very excited to start his dream job as a truck driver.
“He was very excited. I was the last person he met [before he left]. He said, ‘I am very excited.’”
Mr Ahmad said his housemate was “a really nice person; he had a brilliant mind, would always take care of people, he was a hard worker. When he had nothing to do, he did community work.”
In fact, Mr Younus had signed up with his community to assist with the flood-clean up when waters receded.
Mr Ahmad said Mr Younus loved driving trucks, which is why he chose that field.
Mr Ahmad said he received a call from 6.30am from a friend saying Mr Younus had got into trouble but assumed it was nothing serious. When Mr Younus’ workplace called him, he knew something serious had happened.
“For me, from yesterday I didn’t go home, I can’t. I have to change home, there are so many memories there, that’s the thing that hurts,” he said.
Pakistan Association Australia president Farhat Jaffri wrote on Facebook, “I have spoken to the father of Ayaz Younus; he had two elder brothers and one younger sister.
“He was from Malir Cantt [Cantonment] Karachi studying software engineering. Family has requested to send the body back to Karachi.”
Community Leader of the Pakistani Community in Australia Danish Naqash told the Herald the community wanted answers as to why it had taken police so long to reach Mr Younus.
“We are in a First World country and we couldn’t locate a car with a person,” he said.
“That is a big question mark for us. What went wrong?”
One man posted on Facebook that, while he didn’t know Mr Younus very well, the pair had travelled together from Sydney to Pakistan.
“We used to follow each other’s stories on WhatsApp. He was a very entertaining and full of life kind of a person,” the man wrote.
“All I can say with having no words at all after hearing this news, is that it’s made me real sad. I’m sure you’re at your best place Buddy.”
“The triple zero operator did continue to maintain contact with the 25-year-old male as he was in the car,” Detective Inspector Chris Laird said.
“However, at 7.04am, it’s believed contact was lost with the male. Police arrived on the scene shortly after and were unable to find the car.”
Police divers found Mr Younus’ body inside the car, about six metres under water and 30 metres from the road.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said the man’s death was the result of a dreadful set of circumstances and every effort was being made to contact his family overseas.
He said a police investigation was under way and a report would be prepared for the coroner, which would examine factors including emergency response time.
Mr Worboys added he had been told road barriers were up in the area, some of which were under water at the time of the incident.
“This is a graphic and tragic reminder of the dangers across our roads as this crisis unfolds,” he said.
Minister for Police David Elliott is expected to visit the Marsden Park Mosque next week to speak to the community.
Source: THE SYDENY MORNING HERALD