Victim’s sad song

2013-06-21 00:00

IT was one of her last Facebook statuses, written almost two months before she died in a tragic goods lift accident at the Merrivale SuperSpar on Wednesday.

In it, 20-year-old Lucinda Eksteen of Howick quoted the lyrics of the Band Perry’s If I die Young.

“If I die young, bury me in satin. Lay me down on a bed of roses. Sink me in the river at dawn. Send me away with the words of a love song,” it read.

The poignant message was not lost on some of her friends, with one replying on her Facebook profile yesterday with “wish we could do this as you’ve requested”.

As reported in The Witness yesterday, Eksteen was killed at the Merrivale SuperSpar when she stepped into a goods lift that was under maintenance and the cable snapped.

Lucinda’s sister Benita Pillay (25), said she was having a hard time dealing with her youngest sibling’s death.

“I’m just so shocked. I haven’t come to terms with her death. I went to look at her body today [Thursday] and it just doesn’t seem real yet.”

Benita, her mom Margaret, and her husband Brandon Pillay, were being comforted by friends and neighbours.

Family from Mafikeng were expected to arrive today.

Selvie Pillay, Benita’s mother-in-law, said Lucinda lived in Howick West with her sister’s family and was very close to her nephews aged five and seven.

“Family was very important to her. She had a really close relationship with her sister and brother Romano,” Pillay said.

“They were all very close, but her brother was her other half. They were inseparable.”

Selvie Pillay described Lucinda as a very friendly, lovable person who was always smiling.

“She was still very young. She was 20, turning 21 in November.”

Her love for music was well-known to neighbour Linette Welcome.

“The last few days she was just blasting her music.”

Selvie Pillay said Lucinda had big dreams. One was to get a licence and another was to buy a house for her mother. Her family was important to her.

“When we arrived on Monday, she was so excited to see us. She ran out and hugged us and wished my husband a happy Father’s Day,” Selvie Pillay told The Witness.

Family friend Suzanne Moonsamy said Lucinda left a very big gap. “She was always so vibrant, smiling and joking around.”

Lucinda started working at the Spar in August last year, said a former colleague.

“She loved her job. She was very good with customers and she was a people’s person,” said the colleague, who asked not to be named.

Of the accident, she said: “We all heard a loud bang. We then heard people shouting ‘Lucy! Lucy!’ We called an ambulance and it took a while to arrive. The fire brigade came and they went down to attend to her.

“They didn’t tell us that she was gone. They told us that an ambulance was on the way. The ambulance arrived, and a little later our bosses came to us and they told us that she was gone,” the woman told The Witness.

“Our manager is devastated.”

She said other staff members had been told not to use the lift when the maintenance man left to fetch spares.

“Lucy started work after 1 pm, so I don’t think she knew it was under maintenance. There was a sign there, but I don’t think she saw it. If she did, she wouldn’t have gone in.”

She said the owners of the store had since arranged counselling for Lucinda’s colleagues. They had also been given time off work.

Lucinda will be buried on Sunday at Elah Assembly in Howick West at 12 pm.

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