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Father Had Tried To Contact Daughter In NZ Who Died In Failed Driving Lesson

Father Had Tried To Contact Daughter In NZ Who Died In Failed Driving Lesson
Avneel Ram (right), and his wife Sheetal with their baby girl Alina. Photo: Avneel Ram / Facebook
September 14
16:27 2017

The father of a Fijian living in New Zealand, who tragically died with her husband, has told of how he earlier tried to contact her but failed to do so.

Avneel Ram was teaching his wife, Sheetal, how to drive on Tuesday in Christchurch when the lesson turned fatal. The couple are survived by their only child, six-month-old Alina.

Reports said her husband, Avneel, 26, dived after the sinking car to rescue his wife, but later did not emerge from the water himself.

Witnesses saw Ms Ram, 31, accelerate the car she was learning to drive in into a lake, New Zealand report added.

It is said that Ms Ram had intended to apply the brakes in the vehicle but accidently put her foot down on the accelerator.

Ms Ram’s family of Luvuluvu, Nausori confirmed that the couple were Alina’s parents.

Ms Ram’s father Sures Narayan said: “I wanted to speak to them and I kept calling and calling but no one picked up.

“When I called my other daughter in New Zealand at around 10:15 on Tuesday night, she told me that the Police had come to her and told her what had happened.”

Weeping relatives had gathered at Ms Ram’s family house in Nausori yesterday to pay their respects.

Her father said they would seek the advice of the New Zealand immigration on the custody of the child who was born in New Zealand.

The couple married on February 14, 2016 and later moved to New Zealand where Mr Ram owned an air conditioning business.   

Mr Narayan said he was planning to join his wife, Arun Lata, in Christchurch, who had gone there prior to the accident to help care for the baby.

The family intends to have the funeral in New Zealand because the cost of bringing the bodies to Fiji would be costly.

He has also urged other family members to remain strong in these most trying times.

But Ms Ram’s grandfather, Niranjan Prasad, said he hoped the Fijian and New Zealand governments could provide the family with assistance in bringing the bodies back to Fiji for the funeral.

“I am applying for a visa today and I just hope the relevant authorities are swift in helping me get it,” he said.

Ms Ram’s brother Jashneel Narayan was still in shock yesterday.

“We miss her so much and I still cannot believe she has left us for good,” he said.

Ms Ram has two other sisters, the youngest of whom is in Christchurch, while another stays in Lakena, Nausori.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Police had declined to name the couple until further investigations were completed.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  ranobab@fijisun.com.fj

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