Road deaths

REAPI Leba says she will never forget witnessing the tragic car accident that claimed the life of her two-year-old daughter last week.

Ms Leba’s daughter, Agnes Tuiloma, was allegedly hit by a speeding vehicle on Princes Rd at Tamavua Village and her death takes to three the number of children under five who have lost their lives on our roads.

Agnes was walking with a Dutch village volunteer on a sidewalk in the village when a vehicle allegedly veered off the road and struck the pair, dragging them five metres before coming to rest in a drain.

The Dutch volunteer escaped with minor injuries, but Agnes was admitted at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital for a week before she died.

This latest death has prompted police to express concern over the 31 deaths this year on our roads. Police said numerous warnings and requests for road safety were being disregarded by the public.

“Despite numerous awareness campaigns and major operations it seems the pleas are falling on deaf ears when we look at the number of traffic infringements recorded every day,” police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said yesterday.

“Speeding and driver fatigue as well as pedestrian behavior are the main contributing factors to the increasing number of road and fatal accidents.”

Meanwhile, the post-mortem examination of the five-year-old fatal accident victim in Sawani will be conducted this morning.

The suspect remains in custody as investigators await the outcome of the post-mortem examination.

Ms Leba said her daughter had sustained fractures to her head from the accident and doctors had done their best to try and keep her alive.

“I had to accept what happened to my child with a heavy heart because I know the doctors had done their best to try and save her,” she said.

Tamavua Village headman, Ponipate Vula said a villager trained in first aid had come to the aid of the Dutch volunteer and Tuiloma after they were dragged under the car.

“He pulled out the European woman first, and then the kid. When the kid was pulled out of the drain, her nose and mouth was full of mud and dirt. The man then removed the mud from her nose, performed CPR on the girl, got her breathing again then rushed her to the hospital.”

Ms Naisoro said the accused in the case had since been charged with dangerous driving causing harm and produced at the Suva Magistrates Court.

“Following the death of the two-year-old victim, the 30-year-old driver will be brought in again for further investigations,” she said.

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