MAGAZINES | Sunwheels

A Mother’s Pain

This Children under eight years of age are not allowed to sit in the front seat of any vehicle. They should be properly restrained in child restraints as they will
21 Feb 2015 14:44
A Mother’s Pain
Savita lost her eight month old baby in a car accident.

This Children under eight years of age are not allowed to sit in the front seat of any vehicle. They should be properly restrained in child restraints as they will less likely be hurt or killed in a crash than a child who is not.

Today we bring you the story of a woman who lost her child in a car accident with the hope that her story will encourage people to change their attitude towards road safety.

Savita’s story

The couple was overjoyed when Savita (name has been changed to protect her identity) finally gave birth to a child after 22 years of marriage. Savita had endured four miscarriages and struggled through a difficult pregnancy. However, all was forgotten when the family welcomed their son into the world one fine morning, 23 years ago.

“Despite being childless for so many years, I was in a happy marriage because my husband and family were very supportive and they loved me a lot,” says Savita.

“I can’t describe our happiness when I finally gave birth at the age of 42. We had a big celebration which continued for many days.”

Eight months later, their son died in a head on collision involving the couple’s car and another vehicle.

Every Sunday afternoon, Mukesh (Savita’s husband – name has been changed to protect his identity) would take the family on a drive in their car.

Usually, few other members of their family would accompany the couple on Sundays and Savita would sit in the rear seat with their son.

However, on the day the accident occurred, everyone had prior engagements; therefore the couple went on the drive with only their son. Savita sat in the front passenger seat and their son who was asleep at that time, was in her arms.

About 40 minutes later, an oncoming speeding vehicle veered into their lane and crashed into their car.The couple sustained injuries to their face, hands and knees. Savita also lost a finger. Luckily, their seat belts saved them from further injuries.

Their son was not so lucky. He was flung out of the car through the windshield and landed on the road. He died instantly.

Unable to bear the grief of losing their only child, the couple’s marriage suffered and eventually they parted ways.

“We couldn’t talk about the accident … my husband would walk away whenever we felt the urge to hug each other and cry and talk about it,” says Savita as tears roll down her cheeks.

“I would become so angry when Mukesh would walk away … I needed him and I knew he needed me but we just couldn’t sort it out … we couldn’t find words to describe our feelings at that time.”

Mukesh moved abroad and married again after a few years. However his second marriage ended within a few months as he couldn’t forget the incident and since then he has been living with his nephew.

Savita, a retired accountant, is staying alone in Suva. She is still struggling to overcome the traumatic experience.

“I relive the accident every day,” says Savita.

“I try to change the events in my mind … what if we hadn’t gone on the drive that day … what if our son was in a child car seat … so many what ifs, but the reality is that no matter how much I try to change the situation in my mind, our son will never come back.”

Savita cannot bear being near children and has not touched or held a child ever since she lost her son. She feels depressed and bitter that she cannot change her past. She feels pain and anger every time she sees a child and she walks away.

“Savita cannot bear being near

children and has not touched

or held a child ever since

she lost her son”

“Please use child restraints and seatbelts and ensure that your child is safe in the rear seat before you start the car,” says Savita.

“I lost my child … please don’t lose yours.”

Child Restraining Devices

Child restraints are compulsory. The Land Transport (Traffic Regulation 28) clearly stipulates that:

(1) No person may drive or cause  or permit to be driven in a motor vehicle equipped with a rear seat while a child under the age of 8 years is in a front seat position unless the child is properly restrained by a child restraining device.

(3) No person may drive or cause to be driven a motor vehicle equipped with an available child restraining device in a rear seat unless any child under the age of 8 years is properly restrained by the device.

The Land Transport (Traffic Regulation 27) clearly stipulates that:

(1) A person who is 8 years or over seated in a motor vehicle that is in motion must –

(a) wear the seat belt provided; and

(b) the seat belt must be properly adjusted and securely fastened

Feedback: media@lta.com.fj



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