Witness raise funds for families

Sruthi Palaniappan at Nadi International Airport yesterday. Picture: REINAL CHAND

AFTER witnessing the horrific accident at Nabou earlier this month, a United States national decided to raise money for two victims’ families.

Sruthi Palaniappan, 21, began a Go Fund Me campaign and raised $1400 for the families of the late Sanaila Ruitoka and minivan driver Tomasi Bulitavu.

Speaking to The Fiji Times on Saturday, Ms Palaniappan said she was moved to help the families because of the young children they had left behind.

“I can’t even imagine what the families are going through and how the children will cope without their fathers,” she said.

Mr Ruitoka left behind three daughters — Tubou, 3, Liku, 2, and four-month-old Kasanita. Van driver Mr Bulitavu also left behind three children — a four-year-old daughter, two-year-old son and a four-month-old son.

“I know the amount I raised may not be much but I hope it can be used to assist the children somehow.”

Ms Palaniappan was travelling in a bus behind the SUV driven by Daven Sharma that was hit by the Grace Road truck.

“It was the most horrific thing I have ever seen, the truck just suddenly came into our side of the road and hit the mini-van before it tumbled and hit the SUV in front of us.

“I think the thing that affected me most was the feeling of helplessness because nobody had any medical training or was able to assist the accident victims.

“One thing I will do is get emergency medical training and hopefully be able to make a difference if I ever come across another accident again.”

Ms Palaniappan deposited $700 each into the bank accounts of Mr Ruitoka’s wife — Vilimaina Tabua, and Mr Bulitavu’s wife, Losana Bulitavu.

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