Vehicle trouble at Fou’ala claims young life

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BY SAMIE WAIKORI

Auki

A 15-year-old school boy has died and three others with serious injuries after a road accident on Wednesday afternoon in the highlands of Central Kwara’ae.

The accident occurred close to Fou’ala village after the three-tonne passenger truck they travelled on encountered a mechanical problem.

Malaita Provincial Police Commander told this paper yesterday that the boy was among 26 other passengers going home from Auki that day.

He said it was when they were ascending a hill just before coming to Fou’ala village that the engine of the truck died.

In a separate interview with one of the passengers, she said before ascending the hill, 19 of them mostly women and children got out of the truck.

She said when they got out only seven people, three in the cabin and four including the deceased were at the trailer.

According to PPC, Mr Timothy Apaeasi when they were somewhere up the hill the engine of the truck died and the truck started to reverse and later rolled down the hill.

“The truck was going on reverse for a distance of 73 metres downhill, but did not over turn. When the truck kept going on reverse downhill those at the back jumped from the moving vehicle in an attempt to avoid an accident.

“The boy unfortunately hit his head on a tree when he tried to escape from the vehicle that resulted in his death,” Apaeasi said.

In an interview with a passenger in the vehicle, she said those in the cabin did not sustain any injury.

Apaeasi said after the incident, passengers were taken to Kilu’ufi hospital for treatment.

He said police arrested the 20-year-old driver who is now remanded in police custody whilst investigation is underway.

Apaeasi said when they arrested the driver they found that both the driver and the truck are with expired licences.

He said the truck involved in the accident was a blue three-tonne truck previously owned by Auluta transport service from East Kwara’ae.

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