Editorial comment – The value of life

The Minivan which was involved in an accident at Nabou, Sigatoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

INSPIRING tales are slowly emerging, three days after the horrific accident at Nabou on Saturday, of people who rushed in to assist victims.

Australian Football League Fiji sports development co-ordinator, Matelita Tuilevuka, was travelling to Momi that day when she came across the carnage left by the three-vehicle collision.

She spoke about her life changing experience on a day she should have been celebrating a birthday.

Her training in first aid helped her to assist the injured before medical assistance arrived.

Her colleague, AFL Fiji operations manager Rhiannon Banner, who was also trained in administering first aid, acted immediately upon seeing the victims.

They did not hesitate. Together the pair used their training to help victims they could assist.

She said her colleague kept urging the victims to stay awake.

They were, however, saddened by the number of bystanders who preferred to take pictures and videos of the horrific accident.

By the end of it all, they were both traumatised by what they had experienced. Like the two, there were others who helped out. They shrugged aside all other considerations to come to the assistance of those in great need.

The death of the seventh crash victim was confirmed yesterday by police.

The frightening scenes will remain etched on the minds of all those who were there.

Accidents happen. But they happen because we allow them to.

Every year we have massive campaigns highlighting road safety issues. Yet every year, we continue to have major accidents around the country.

The weekend’s accident has no doubt affected hundreds of people around the country.

This has been aided by the splashing of video images, taken at the scene, across social media platforms.

Such accidents must remind us about how fragile life can be.

It must remind us about why adhering to laws that govern road usage in Fiji is important.

Such accidents are cruel because they take away the lives of innocent people.

This is why we must be vigilant while driving on our many roads.

This is why we must plan our journeys, have adequate rest, and respect the rights of other road users. This is why we must be alert.

As police investigations continue, drivers must be responsible.

There are many lessons we should take out of this accident.

Key among them all is how much we value life.

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