Despite being granted bail in the Gelvandale Magistrate’s Court yesterday, the tears continued to stream down the face of a young man allegedly responsible for a fatal hit-and-run accident in which a four-year-old boy was dragged about 100m at the weekend.
Curtis Felkers, 26, of Windvogel, emerged from the holding cells wiping tears from his eyes, which were puffy from crying, before glancing at the court gallery where about 15 family and community members sat in support of him.
Felkers had handed himself over to the police on Sunday but was only arrested at his home later the same day because police still had to get witness statements.
He was released on R5 000 bail yesterday.
Felkers faces a charge of culpable homicide after a car allegedly driven by him ploughed into Orlando du Plessis on the corner of Bardien Avenue and Bergins Street, Bloemendal, at 5.45pm on Saturday.
He is also facing charges of failing to stop after an accident, failing to ascertain injuries or render assistance, reckless and/or negligent driving, as well as driving with an expired driver’s licence.
Orlando’s mother, Monique du Plessis, 27, and her children had walked outside to see off visitors who had attended her grandmother’s funeral.
Orlando, who was holding his mother’s hand, is believed to have broken free from her grip and was darting across the road when the oncoming VW Golf struck him.
The car dragged the youngster, who was wedged under it, for about 100m before coming to a stop.
The driver then sped from the scene, leaving the fatally injured boy in the street.
In court, Felkers was tearyeyed as he fielded questions about why he had driven away.
“I was scared because, after I stopped, I looked back and saw a big group of people running towards me,” he said.
Felkers was hugged by his family and friends outside the court. His father, who asked not be named, said his son and the rest of his family were remorseful and praying for the Du Plessis family.
“We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, ” the upset man said.
“Curtis would never [intentionally] hurt anyone, especially a child. “He is so cut up about it and the whole family feels his pain because this was a genuine accident. “We want to tell the Du Plessis family that we are very sorry and will assist them in whatever way is needed.”
According to the police, Felkers, accompanied by his attorney, handed himself over at the Bethelsdorp police station on Sunday morning.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said that due to outstanding statements from witnesses, Felkers’s address and details were noted and he was allowed to leave.
Once the witness statements had been acquired, he was arrested later in the afternoon. Felkers is due to appear in court again on October 13. Du Plessis could not be reached for comment yesterday