By Heidi Foo and Jason Gerald
SEREMBAN, Malaysia - The managing director of a herbal company and his family of five were killed when their car smashed into a stalled lorry at Km252 of the North-South Expressway near the Senawang toll plaza here early yesterday.
The bodies of Suhaimi Ghazali, 41, his wife, Nor Fadhilah Isnin, 31, and their four children, Nor Natashahuda, 11, Mohd Daniel Iskandar, 10, Mohd Hanif Iman, 6, and Adi Putra, 2, were burnt beyond recognition when their BMW 5 series exploded upon impact.
The family was returning to their home in Telok Mas, Malacca, after spending the weekend at the Bukit Merah Laketown Resort near Taiping.
Suhaimi was the managing director of Fadhilat Herbs Sdn Bhd while his wife was the company's financial director.
Nor Fadhilah's father, Isnin Salleh, 70, said he had a premonition that something bad was going to happen.
"For several nights, I dreamt of a house which was not completed. It stood on a vacant land with rods but there were no walls or roof. I never told anyone about it," he said.
Isnin last spoke to his daughter on the telephone on Friday, and although he was troubled by the dream, he kept it from her as he did not want to worry her.
"I told my daughter to be careful on the road and to keep an eye on my grandchildren. I am shocked this has happened. They were such a loving family."
Earlier, his wife, Aminah Abdullah, 64, fainted when she arrived at the Seremban Hospital mortuary. Also at the mortuary were Suhaimi's parents, Ghazali Johari, 66, and Rokiah Idrus, 60.
Suhaimi's uncle, Nowawi Johari, recalled how frightened he was when police contacted him in the morning.
"Initially, they told me there was confusion over the identity of the vehicle owner as my nephew had bought the car from a Chinese owner. He had the car for about a month and had not transferred the ownership. It was difficult for me to hear the news."
He said Suhaimi was the founder of the herbal drink business and a dedicated family man.
"The couple were also known to be very charitable. They donated huge sums to orphanages. Some of their products were also given away free to the poor," said Nowawi, who is the company adviser.
Several employees of the company turned up at the mortuary yesterday after hearing the news.
Administration manager Siti Aisyah Senin, 25, said she admired her employers because they treated their staff well and cared for their welfare.
"Though they were often busy, they had time to talk to us and were always willing to help. We never faced any problems.
"My boss (Nor Fadhilah) was very dedicated to her job. Before she went on holiday, she made sure she had completed all her tasks."
The two-year-old company is situated in Telok Mas, Malacca and has 35 workers.
The accident occurred at 1.30am after Suhaimi was believed to have lost control of his car which crashed into the rear of a stalled lorry carrying granite.
An explosion followed and the car engine was later found in a drain at the road shoulder some 50 metres away.
Police investigations revealed that the lorry had broken down the previous afternoon and was left in the emergency lane.
Police are expected to question the lorry driver soon.
Witnesses said they heard a loud bang, followed by an explosion. They rushed to the scene and saw the victims trapped in the mangled car.
"We tried to free them but there was another explosion and within seconds, the car was engulfed in flames," said a witness.
Firemen from the Seremban 2 and Senawang Fire and Rescue Department took three hours to extricate the bodies.