Family celebrates the life of Jeugland teen who died last year

IVAN Steyn and his sister Zanté on holiday.

TRAGEDY struck a Kempton Park family shortly before Christmas when their teenage son was killed in an accident on Zuurfontein Road.

Ivan Steyn, who was a matric pupil at Hoërskool Jeugland last year, died when his car collided with a steel post near the intersection of the P91 and Zuurfontein Road in the early hours of December 19.

His distraught mother told Express: “He and his friends went to ice skate on the Sunday night (December 18). When we were already in bed, he decided to go to his girlfriend in Esther Park around 1am.”

Ivan drove a second hand Hyundai Getz he got on his 18th birthday last year February to get to school and to his part time jobs at Tomato Wood-fired Pizza and Rockomamas in Stoneridge.

“It was only when Norkem Park police officers rang our doorbell at around 2.30am that we realised Ivan wasn’t at home. They took us to the accident scene and it was terrifying. When we got there the flames were extinguished but my son was still in the car.”

According to Zelda, all indications of the accident showed that Ivan was killed on impact. “Absolutely no one was there to see what happened that night,” said Zelda.

Specialised hydraulic rescue tools had to be used to recover Ivan’s body from the wreck.

In a heartbroken voice Zelda told EXPRESS on Tuesday morning that Ivan would always remain her “baby” and that he would be dearly missed by his parents, his sister Zanté (22), friends, colleagues, family and people they met in their many travels around the world.

“Just like everyone in our family, Ivan was very fond of travelling and there are very few 18-year-olds that can say they’ve been to 27 different countries: from India to Thailand, Syria, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordania and almost the whole of Europe. He lived himself into each culture in every country and enjoyed the food. He loved different tastes and if he could, he would have chosen to travel the world.”

Ivan was described as a loving son, a supportive brother, a rebellious teenager, a loyal friend and a hard worker.

He loved music, from the 60s to now, watching movies, technology and reading more about the universe. He was a very social person and had a great relationship with his sister.

“Ivan and Zanté were always very good friends and when Ivan was born early, Zanté said she must protect her brother. And she did. They had a very special connection, to such a point that about a year ago they moved back into the same room – so they could sit and talk and laugh until the early hours of the morning,”

“His friends told so many stories about Ivan always giving advice, a shoulder to lean on in bad times – and someone with a good sense of humor. His teachers described him as very refined and respectful towards others.”

His colleagues said he was always very friendly and attentive to customers. In the compliment and complaint book at Rocomamas he always got great feedback.

“As a son, he would always be our ‘baby’. We would laugh and say no matter how old he got, he would always stay our ‘baby’.”

Ivan did well in his matric results and excelled in maths, tourism and English.

IVAN Steyn (18) before his matric farewell.

IVAN Steyn (18) before his matric farewell.

Although he was uncertain about what he wanted to do for a living, he decided it would be best to stay on at Tomato and Rocomamas until he knew what he wanted to do.

He wanted to apply at Air Traffic Navigation Services (ATNS) to be an air traffic controller and also wanted to do his international barman course in Cape Town – seeing that he wanted to travel the world.

Ivan would have turned 19 on February 9.

His funeral was on December 22 at the NG Church Hoogland and the service was led by Rev Theo van Rensburg.

“We were overwhelmed by the number of people that were there. A lot of his school friends and their families, as well as our friends from near and far, were there. We are so grateful for each and everyone’s presence. It’s an acknowledgement that he lived – he was here.”

The family would like to thank everyone who helped with the funeral arrangements, the people who helped identify Ivan’s body and the two police officers who took them to the accident scene, for their compassion and sympathy.

“We are very grateful that Ivan was with us for almost 19 years and we are very proud of the unique young man he was still growing up to be. He was, is and will always be a blessing to us. We will forever love him.”


Alicia Loots

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