Boy, 18, missing as car plunges into river

Police at Waidra, Baulevu, where a vehicle veered off the road and plunged into the Rewa River last weekend. Picture: LITIA CAVA

THE early morning disappearance of a vehicle in the Rewa River yesterday remains a mystery for mother Rehana Ali.

Ms Ali lost her husband eight months ago and yesterday, disaster struck again when she discovered that her son was missing from their home in Kasavu.

Her son Tasleem Ali is believed to have died after his vehicle veered off the road at Waidra, Baulevu Rd in Nausori and plunged into the Rewa River.

Ms Ali said her 18-year-old son recently attained his driver’s licence a few months ago, but his alleged trip to Waidra yesterday was news to her.

“He always stays home,” Ms Ali said.

“He hardly used to go to Waidra and even if he did, I used to accompany him everywhere.”

The 45-year-old mother was still not sure whether the driver of the vehicle that veered off the road was really her son when police set up camp at the scene yesterday.

Ms Ali left home before 8am for the Nausori Health Centre and said he was home.

“Around 9.20am, my neighbour called and told me that my grandson was standing on the terrace crying as no one was at home.

“She told me that Tasleem was not at home and the car was not parked outside. I called Tasleem from the hospital, but his phone was diverted.

“While I was trying to get hold of Tasleem, I received a call from my elder son who then informed me that an accident occurred in Waidra and the vehicle had veered off-road into the river.”

Despite the assumption that her son was the driver, Ms Ali said she was still hopeful that her son would return home.

“A week ago, I had asked him what his plan was for the future and he responded saying that he wanted to be a soccer player. He had recently purchased new soccer boots and balls, he was passionate about soccer. He always followed the prayer rituals and went to the mosque every Friday,” she added.

Meanwhile, Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said Police had yet to confirm whether there were passengers in the vehicle.

Police also stated that they were gathering information to determine if the victim was travelling alone.

However, Ms Naisoro said a woman confirmed to Police that her son was missing and that the car that veered off the road was the family car.

At 2.30pm yesterday, Police suspended their search because of adverse weather.

Ms Naisoro said Police did not want to compromise the safety of their divers and that their search would continue today.

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