NEWS

Head-on Crash Kills Driver

Traffic was held up for at least two hours along Princes Road, Suva, after a head-on collision between a minivan and a bus resulted in the death of a driver
20 Apr 2015 11:38
Head-on Crash Kills Driver

Traffic was held up for at least two hours along Princes Road, Suva, after a head-on collision between a minivan and a bus resulted in the death of a driver at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital last night.

The minivan driver who died has not been identified, but witnesses at the scene said he was thrown onto the road as a result of the collision.

Police officers and National Fire Authority firefighters and rescue staff were kept busy trying to pull people out from the two vehicles involved during heavy rain.

Police officers at the scene said the bus belonging to Tacirua Transport Limited was travelling towards Tamavua from the Suva Bus Stand, while the minivan was approaching in the opposite direction.

The vehicles collided on a bend near the Princes Road-Loa Street intersection and the impact threw the minivan driver onto the road.

As a result of the impact, the minivan ripped off the front right side of bus directly under driver’s seat and bus veered off the road and into a garage by the roadside.

Passers-by rushed to the scene to help three people stuck inside the minibus and at least 20 passengers on the bus with glass and vehicle parts scattered on the road.

Bailiff and martial arts instructor Steven Brown, who lives along Lovoni Road, was one of the first people at the scene.

“When we came down we saw the bus inside another compound and the minibus driver flat out on the road with one of the passengers trapped in the front seat,” he said.

“There were three passengers in the minivan and I went and cut the seatbelt and we took the guy out from the front seat.

“A girl was in the back seat and we took her out and put her with the other passengers in a taxi. The taxi driver rushed them to the hospital.

“We then waited for the ambulance for the driver.”

Rosy Catherine, a passenger on the bus, said she was shocked and afraid at the same time.

“I thought the bus would catch on fire (from the impact). I was trying to figure out how to get out of the bus,” she said.

“This was totally unexpected. I took the Namadi Heights bus from the Suva Bus Stand and was heading home.

“One thing I know now. I think I’m going to be more worried about travelling. I have to take precautions because accidents happen during the day time as well. But I will take more precautions now.”

Homeowner Julie Dewa, 66, said she was shocked when the bus ended in a garage in her compound.

“It was just a huge crash. I thought it was an earthquake. The whole house shook,” she said.

“Then I went out and I could see people taken out of the bus. The passengers were trying to come out of the bus.

“I rushed quickly and called for the ambulance. I could see the driver was lying on the road.

“This is the first time we have encountered such situation.”

 

PROPER TRAINING

Last night, Dr Vikash Singh, president of the Fiji Dental Association, was also at the accident scene.

He lives nearby.

Dr Singh highlighted what he called a weakness he noticed among the firefighters and Police officers responding to such scenes.

He claims none of the officers last night attended to the victim who was lying on the road next to the banged-up minibus.

“The victim was lying there on the road with no help from Police officers and firefighters. If these officers were well trained to keep victims alive until help arrives, it can make a difference and save lives as well.”

However, NFA’s chief executive officer told the Fiji Sun last night: “Based a preliminary report I received from my team who were at the scene last night, they attended to the minivan driver and transported the victim to hospital in our own NFA ambulance.

“We received the emergency call at 6.44pm and my team was at the scene at 6.49pm. And they attended to the victim themselves and transported the driver to hospital.”

Police later confirmed last night that the minibus driver died in hospital.

Feedback: shreeti.prasad@fijisun.com.fj

 




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