IT WAS the sunset over the mountains from Kabul that Ronald Frederick Jaray remembered when he sat down to write a letter to the relatives of five members of an Afghan family killed in the car crash he caused.Mr Jaray’s handwritten letter, seen by the Herald, was delivered by police to the Reza-e family on Thursday, the day before the 68-year-old faced Picton Local Court to ask for mercy.The retired school teacher, who has pleaded guilty to one count of negligent driving causing death, apologised but did not ask for forgiveness.”Please understand I am an ordinary, honest, caring person who is and always will be deeply distressed by what has happened,” he wrote.”I cannot undo what has been done. Rarely do small errors have such huge consequences and why this happened to you, who have had more than your share of suffering, is beyond comprehension.”The Picton resident sat quietly in court yesterday morning while his barrister, Shane McAnulty, argued it was his client’s ”momentary inattention” that caused a ”slight touching” of the Reza-e’s Toyota Camry as he attempted to change lanes early on December 6 on Picton Road near Wilton.”The complicating factor was that at the speed of 100km/h everything is magnified tenfold,” Mr McAnulty told the court.He said his client should be placed under a good behaviour bond, rather than be sent to jail.The Reza-e’s car fishtailed and spun onto the other side of the road, where it was struck by a water tanker.Abdul Wali Mohamad Qasim, 41, his wife Sharifa Reza-e, 24, their 14-week-old son Erfan and two female cousins, Kobra Reza-e, 50, and Habibah Reza-e, 40, were killed instantly.”I have no way of feeling or understanding the grief you must feel,” Mr Jaray wrote to their relatives. ”I wake each morning feeling confused, sad and concerned, which is not even a fraction of your feelings.”He said he had visited their homeland of Afghanistan – which the Reza-e family fled after losing relatives in the conflict there – in the early 1970s when it was ”unusually peaceful and beautiful”.”Watching the sunset over the mountains from Kabul, while listening to the call to prayer, is a very fond memory,” Mr Jaray wrote.Fawzia Reza-e, whose three cousins were killed in the crash in December, said she cried when she received the letter this week.”It made me more sad,” she said.The brother of the female victims, Najib Reza-e, was granted a temporary visa after he came to Australia for their funeral. But his wife and five children were still in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur waiting to join him, Fawzia Reza-e said.”I want the immigration (department) to help Najib, do something about him and his family,” she said.Mr Jaray is expected to be sentenced by magistrate Robert Walker at Picton Court on May 24.
Nanjing Night Net