ALL that was heard were cries of "meu bula, au via bula" (let me live, I want to live) as a dying single mother lay trapped in a truck wreck.
Siteri Darabula, in her mid-50s, was one of the 12 passengers from Navunimono in Verata, Tailevu, travelling to the Suva market to sell their produce early yesterday morning.
The accident which occured at 3am, claimed the life of Ms Darabula, landed another passenger with a fractured leg at Nausori Hospital while two were treated and sent home. It is believed that Amena, the driver, lost control of the vehicle and hit a lamp post on the Kings Road near Kasavu, outside Nausori.
Survivor, Nunia Turaga recalled the painful minutes of helplessness spent listening to her dying aunt's pleas as sparks flew from the powerline while other passengers moved to safety.
Speaking in the iTaukei language at the market, Ms Turaga said the sound of the truck engine changed after they had gone over a road hump. By then, most of the passengers including 11-year old Sainimili Rokowati, had fallen asleep, then someone screamed "varau, varau" (get ready).
They grabbed hold of the iron bars, preparing themselves for what was to come and as the truck came to a halt, they scrambled out of the truck, what came next was panic and shock, she said.
Ms Turaga said her aunt called out to Amena to save her but they could not free her from the wreck and had to wait for police and firemen to arrive.
As police and firemen brought her out of the wreck, Ms Turaga said her aunt told them that she was getting weaker and asked them to take care of her son.
Another niece, Karalaini Ranasau, 37, said she didn't know if she was strong enough to face her cousin, Viliame Cagimaicama, after the death of his mother.
"I hope I can face him when I reach the village," Ms Ranasau said.
Ms Ranasau said they had to continue to Suva to sell their produce because it was their only source of income.
The road death toll stands at 14, this is equivalent to that of the same period last year.
Meanwhile, Director of Operations Senior Superintendent Rusiate Tudravu said police were out to ensure no more lives were lost on the roads.