Car plunge mum reunited with daughter

Written By komlim puldel on Jumat, 10 April 2015 | 20.01

Akon Goude, left, visiting her daughter at the Royal Children's Hospital. Picture: Yuri Kouzmin Source: News Corp Australia

MOTHER and daughter survivors from the Lake Gladman tragedy have been reunited.

Dad Joseph Manyang said daughter Aluel had given her mum a "big hug".

"She didn't believe that her mum was still alive," he said.

"She was asking yesterday (about her mum)."

Mr Manyang said his daughter was expected to make a "100 per cent" recovery and she should be allowed to go home within four days.

Aluel was moved from the intensive care unit at the Royal Children's about 5.15pm yesterday.

Ms Guode visited her daughter for the first time but did not stay the night in the hospital.

She is expected to return today.

Other relatives remained with the child.

Akon Goude with one of her daughters. Source: Supplied

The bedside vigil came as:

* A RELATIVE reveals the four children were playing in a park near the lake with their mum before the incident,

* FUNERAL arrangements have begun for baby Bol, and four-year-old twins Anger and Madit,

* THE children's mother cannot bare to return home,

* POLICE continue a long, complex investigation to understand how the Toyota Kluger plunged into Lake Gladman.

The stricken mother arrived at Royal Children's Hospital about 4.45pm accompanied by a dozen relatives and the child's father, Joseph Manyang.

Ms Guode covered her head with a floral scarf and walked silently with her head slightly bowed as she entered the front door of the hospital.

Friends said she was exhausted, weak and shocked.

Relatives of Akon Goude yesterday. Picture: Mark Dadswell Source: News Corp Australia

Tributes are left at the scene in Wyndham Vale. Picture: Mark Dadswell Source: News Corp Australia

Cousin Makok Alier said Ms Guode was so traumatised that she had been "a mute".

"As everyone would have to imagine ... she is not as well — she is still in shock," Mr Alier said.

The family gathered in front of the hospital to show their solidarity and to publicly thank the Australian public for their outpouring of support.

Mr Alier said the family was standing by Ms Guode.

"We are all mourning and the primary concern we are dealing with is the emotional (condition) of her and ourselves," he said.

A statement from the family described Ms Guode as a "wonderful mother".

It read: "(Akon is) known to be humble; a quiet mother, hardly angry at one in the community or within the family".

Reading the statement, Mr Alier said the family was struggling to accept the deaths of "three angels" but they had sought solace from the Bible.

"As loved ones we could not have accepted lives of these beautiful ones perishing accidentally — it is painful, evil and unjustified," he said.

"We did not wish them to go so soon.

"Let their souls rest in peace."

Akon Goudeis picked up by relativesafter being released from the St. Kilda Road Police Complex. Picture: Jake Nowakowski Source: News Corp Australia

The family thanked paramedics, police, MFB, and the Sudanese and wider communities.

They said they were appreciative of the condolence message from Premier Daniel Andrews.

The united front came less than 24 hours Ms Guode was released without charge by police after being questioned by homicide squad detectives

Mr Manyang told the Herald Sun Ms Guode had explained the moments before the crash.

"She explained to me she had a dizzy (spell). The dizzies happened and then she didn't realise anything until she eventually woke up ... and they fell into the water," Mr Manyang said.

"What she said, when unconscious, she had no control of the car. You don't feel yourself when that happens."

The explanation of a black out was also echoed by Ms Guode's eldest daughter.

Mr Manyang said Ms Guode was staying with relatives as the memories of her children playing around their family home were too much for her to stay there.

The sight of portraits of the young kids around the house were also a devastating reminder of her loss, he said.

"She's very shocked," he said. "She didn't get any sleep.

"She was crying every 10 minutes. She remembers everything at home and how the kids were walking around and playing.

Apart from high blood pressure, Mr Manyang said Ms Guode did not have any medical problems.

Mr Manyang said Aluel remembers the crash and believes her siblings were taken by crocodiles in the water.

"Always when they see water they think of crocodiles, so that's what she said. She said they'd fallen into the water and there were crocodiles eating my younger brothers and sister.

"But she's OK, she's stable now. I'm going to go visit her again today.

Police divers prepare to remove Akon Guode's car after it plunged into a lake off Manor Lakes Blvd. Picture: Mark Stewart Source: News Corp Australia

"We hope to bring her home soon. It'll depend on the doctors and what they say."

Ms Guode's eldest daughter Akoi Chabiet, 19, said a black out was being investigated as the cause of the fatal incident.

"This was just an accident. When the officers came to our house they just said she'd had a blackout."

The Deakin University law student described her mother as "loving" and said she would not have got through her Year 12 studies last year without her.

"My mother is a very good lady," she said.

"We've been through a lot. Since we were in Africa she's the one who raised us to bring us here to this day and I don't think she'd hurt us in anyway.

"My mum and I raised them since they were born.

"I was their mother, their father, their sister. I was their everything. To see them all gone is just really hard."

She recalled how the twins, Madit and Anger, were "cheeky" and how Anger would always call her "princess".

"My little sister, she always called me a princess because I looked after her," she said.

She said she would " always remember them" and hoped to have twins of her own in the future so she could name them after her lost siblings.

Ms Chabiet said she hadn't spoke with her mother yet during this "hard time".

"I hope all of this ends and we can all be a family together again because she doesn't deserve this.''

A police diver in the Wyndham Vale lake. Picture: Mark Stewart Source: News Corp Australia

The Herald Sun has been told Ms Guode had taken her children to play in a nearby park to the lake right before the family Toyota Kluger was driven into Lake Gladman.

Relative Magdalina Acieny said the mother of seven had phoned her older daughters at home to tell them to start preparing a chicken dinner.

Ms Acieny, the niece of Ms Guode's partner, said Ms Guode had phoned the girls about an hour before the fatal crash.

"She can't believe it has happened, she doesn't know how she will survive without her little ones," Ms Acieny said.

Ms Acieny said Ms Guode was supposed to see a relative that afternoon but had first taken her children to play in the park after they had pleaded with her to come along

She said Ms Guode called her daughters from the park, asking them about dinner.

"She said, 'we're going to come home soon'."

"She asked them if they were cooking for the kids because by the time they got home they would be hungry. She asked them to cook chicken because they love chicken," Ms Acieny said.

"The accident happened on the way back from the park."

She said Ms Guode was due to move to a rental property in Pakenham with her seven children the day after the tragedy occurred, but had not yet signed the lease.

"She had hired a truck to come and collect everything at the house," Ms Acieny said.

Their home would be especially quiet without the twins, Madit, 4, and his sister, Anger, she said.

Priest Daniel Aleu had looked after two of Ms Goude's daughters as police interviewed her on Thursday night.

Mr Aleu said the family was part of his congregation at Holy Apostle Anglican Church in Sunshine.

He said Ms Guode was a caring mother.

"She's a very good woman, a very quiet woman so it's very shocking news for me and my family as well. Meanwhile, it was eerily quiet at the lake only two days after the crash.

The sounds of ducks on the lake only broke the silence as mourners continued to pay their respects to three little lost lives.

A sign spray-painted with the words ``RIP kids'' sat among the growing makeshift shrine of burning candles, flowers, children's books and teddies.

Cards with messages of condolences and support for the family also littered the lakeside memorial along with kid's hand-drawn pictures.

Volunteers were on standby for those in need of support.

A funeral is being planned for the three children, but a date has not been set.

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