– Raza Hussain escaped the Taliban and endured an asylum boat tragedy to celebrate his first “Aussie-style” Christmas this year with his wife and young family.
But the devoted father of five’s cherished new life ended abruptly when his taxi was struck by an out-of-control car just a few hundred metres from his home.
Mr Hussain’s grieving wife, Asma Raza, 33, said she and her children were now alone in Australia, with no other family. She will now have to move into the home they were building in March without him.
Mr Hussain’s brother died only six months ago on a vessel bound for Australia in an attempt to flee terrorists.
The speeding driver of the other car allegedly told police he’d been drinking beer and Campari at home, and was on the way to a friend’s house when the fatal accident happened at 6:15 pm in Geelong on Christmas Day.
Police will view the taxi’s in-car CCTV footage as they piece together the driver’s final moments and reconstruct the crash.
Irshad Ali said his friend of 10 years came to Australia about six years ago after fleeing the Taliban and was studying commercial cookery at a Melbourne college.
He said Mr Hussain, who was a teacher and part-time journalist in Pakistan, became a taxi operator to better the life of his family about three years ago.
Close family friend Julie Riley enjoyed a celebration with the family before the fatal crash.
Ms Riley said Mr Hussain had enjoyed celebrating his first Christmas “Australian-style” despite his Muslim faith.
The Major Collision Investigation Unit’s Detective Sergeant Rohan Courtis said a Hamlyn Heights man, 36, was expected to be charged with culpable driving causing death – Erin Marie, Aleks Devic & Angus Thompson