"MY daughter still thinks her dad is in hospital recovering - she has no idea he's not coming back." These words crept painfully out of the mouth of Vandana Prasad yesterday after her husband was hit by a bus while walking along Bau Rd, Nausori, on his way to work.
The victim, Jiten Prasad, had just turned 43 over the long weekend.
"It was an ordinary day and we were going about our daily routine - my husband got ready for work and walked out the front door - I watched him get to the road and then went back inside the house," Mrs Prasad recalled.
"It was not long after that I heard a very heavy noise just outside the driveway, so I went over to have a look. I had no idea who it was at first because the bus was completely on top of half of his body - all I could see were blue jeans and safety boots," Mrs Prasad said.
It was not until one of the neighbours said it looked like Mr Prasad that she began to worry.
Mrs Prasad then decided to ring her husband's phone in the hope that he would answer.
"When he didn't answer, I rang his office because he's usually the first one to get there. Once his boss told me he hadn't reached work I began to remember that he was wearing blue jeans and safety boots before he left. I started to weep," Mrs Prasad said.
According to police reports, the incident happened about 6.30am.
"But it wasn't until around 8am that firefighters cut a hole in the bus and dug mud around his body in order to get him out," said Mrs Prasad's sister, Vedhna Karan.
"Once that happened, we recognised him straight away but it was too late, by then he had already gone. They took him to the Nausori Hospital and we identified him there," Ms Karan said. Mr Prasad was a welder with Pacific Batteries and was walking from his house to the main road to catch his bus to work when his life was taken.
He was the breadwinner for the Prasad family, who have two daughters - 13-year-old Kajal Prasad and five year-old, Esha Prasad, who thinks her father is still in hospital recovering.
"If anything, I want justice for my husband. Something must be done," Mrs Prasad said.
The bus was carrying one passenger when the accident occurred, but the passenger sustained no injuries.
Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro, said the driver of the bus was in police custody and was yet to be charged.
"The bus is having a vehicle inspection by the Land Transport Authority and once that's done, we can confirm what the issue was," the spokeswoman said.
* Editorial Comment: Road safety issues