Road Death Toll At 23

Our current road death toll in Fiji stands at 23 compared to 22 for the same period last year. Losing a loved one in a crash is devastating. Lives are
01 May 2015 09:47
Road Death Toll At 23
The 18 wheeler truck that hit a van and claimed a life in Wairabetia, Lautoka. Photo: Sheetal Prasad

Our current road death toll in Fiji stands at 23 compared to 22 for the same period last year.

Losing a loved one in a crash is devastating. Lives are shattered, and some never recover from the trauma. Those dead loved ones can be a son, a daughter, parents, a husband or wife.

Majority of accidents on our roads this year have been associated with speeding, reckless driving and drunk driving, according to the Land Transport Authority and Police.

Despite the repeated warnings and much awareness conducted on road safety the carnage on our roads continues and so does the body count.

This report details the number of people who have died on our roads, but it is sad to note that simple traffic rules were not followed by the drivers.

Some of the horrific deaths that left many lives shattered this year are as follows:

January 2 –A 37-year old carpenter, Aminitoni Mataibau lost his life after the driver of the vehicle he was travelling in lost control and veered off the road near Deuba Village, Serua. Our aticle on Jan 4 read:

“The victim’s mother Talica Ratulevu and Tulevu Mataibau said they had lost a caring, loving and a hard working son and they were unable to believe that he was gone.

Mr Mataibau is survived by his wife and two children aged ten and six years old who were still coming to terms with the loss.”

January 21- Verenaisi Buka, 47, was returning from enrolling her second youngest daughter, Anaseini Soqo, at Lami High School, when she was hit by a vehicle.

The accident happened during the heavy rain and thunderstorm that pelted Suva on that day. The four-wheel drive vehicle was travelling towards Suva.

Our article on Jan 22:  Her husband Makario Namotu was in tears as he recalled the last time he spoke to his wife.

“We still cannot believe that she had died because we had just prayed together this morning (yesterday) before she left to go and enroll our daughter at Lami High School,” Mr Namotu said.

February 6: According to Police, the first accident happened around 3.30pm at Delaidamu Raod, Naitasiri where a vehicle driven by a 29-year-old bumped the deceased who was walking along the side of the road with two friends.

Our article on Feb 8: “Suva market vendor Ponijese Rokodrugu, 34, is still trying to come to terms with the death of his second-youngest child.

Mr Rokodrugu lost his daughter, Lusiana Tuiraloga, 6, in a road accident near Natoaika Primary School in Naitasiri last Friday afternoon.

The Fiji Sun had visited the victim’s family at Deladamanu Village in Naitasiri.

“She was our family’s pet; she was the youngest of my three daughters and we are still shocked about what happened,” Mr Rokodrugu said.

Lusiana was believed to be on her way home from school when she was hit by a vehicle driven by a 29-year-old.

In the second alleged fatal received yesterday, a 6-year-old student was bumped by a bus as he was crossing the road along the Waiqele Airport Road at about 4.25pm. The victim is alleged to have crossed the road in front of his school bus and was bumped by another bus travelling in the same lane. He was rushed to the Labasa Hospital where he was unfortunately pronounced dead.

Feb 11- our article on Feb 12:  An early morning accident in Wairabetia, Lautoka.

A truck travelling from Nadi to Lautoka failed to negotiate a bend and collided with an oncoming vehicle carrying 14 labourers to Lautoka which also collided with another vehicle.

The driver of the third vehicle died instantly on the scene whilst the 13 of the labourers were taken to Lautoka Hospital for treatment.

February 25- vehicle driven by paralegal David Reddy plunges into Waidalice river, Korovou- Police later confirmed it to be a road accident victim.

Our article Feb 26: Mother, Savita Reddy said, “He took me and his wife to Suva last Friday after persuading me to tag along saying I’m always at home.

“Since I am always sickly, I did not feel like going, yet he insisted I come along so I did.

“He was more than just a colleague, he was family, and we all are. In such a small firm, we were all very close and he was always the jester making everyone laugh,” Barbra Doton Jai, an associate at the firm said.

The victim was identified by his brother Andy Reddy at the Korovou Police Station.

March 8:   A man (Praveen Singh) died on Sunday (March 9) at Edinburgh Drive in Suva after he was allegedly hit by a minivan.

A four-year-old girl died March 8 after she was hit by another minivan in Nakaile, Tailevu.

Our article on March 10:  A family in Nakaile Village in Tailevu is still trying to come to terms with the death of its youngest member.

Joana Tailasa, who was to turn five this Friday, was allegedly hit by a minivan driven by a 56-year-old man, at the village road junction at about 7pm last Saturday.

She was a kindergarten student of Nabitu District School in Tokatoka, Tailevu.

Her grandmother and namesake Joana Tailasa said she was devastated and was still in a state of shock.

On the same day In Vatuwaqa, Suva, a man died after he was struck by a car, (March 8)

Our article on March 10:  40-year-old Sekaia Lasarusa died after he was hit by a car at Fletcher Road, Vatuwaqa, last Saturday.

He was rushed to the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva but was pronounced dead.

The car was driven by a 22-year-old, Police said.

Police spokesperson Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said the driver was trying to overtake another vehicle when it hit the victim who was crossing the road.

March 29- five killed in two separate accidents in Western division- 2 adults and a child in Navo and in another 2 adults killed in Sigatoka.

Our story on March 30:  At Navo, outside Nadi, four-year-old Anishya Chand died when the vehicle she was travelling in (registration FN874) veered off the road.

The dead included Ashnita Chand, 26, a cashier at Foodhall Supermarket and Metromix worker Low Kumar Naicker, 32. They were all from Sonaisali, Nadi.

Reshma Kumar, 32, a cousin of the late Mr Naicker said the community of Sonaisali was still coming to terms with the news.

“My brother was a good man, soft spoken and hardly ever got angry or raised his voice,” an emotional Ms Kumar said.

“He was the sole breadwinner in the family, so everyone depended on him

Two people at Korotogo, Sigatoka – our story on March 30:

“At Korotogo, Sigatoka, at 7.30pm on Saturday night where two people lost their lives.”

Inspector Sokomuri confirmed that Pushpa Anjali, 58, of Nausori was pronounced on arrival at the hospital while Randhika Ashwini, 22, of Malolo died at 2.30am at the Sigatoka Hospital.

“The vehicle was driven by a 35-year-old woman and was travelling towards Suva when it collided with oncoming vehicle. Another passenger is on a critical condition at Lautoka Hospital,” he said.

April 14- A 30 year old contractor of Vatutu, Nadi died following an accident

Our article on April 15: The victim was driving a vehicle with two passengers when it is alleged he drove off the road to try and overtake a vehicle traveling in the same direction. The accident allegedly occurred when he tried to drive back on to the road while trying to avoid a concrete post.

April 19- on April 19 three people died in separate road accidents along Suva Nausori corridor.

A 25-year-old student Kritesh Kumar died after he allegedly lost control of his vehicle in Suva. The car hit a power pole on Ratu Mara Road in Nabua.

His car was ripped into a lamp post on Ratu Mara Road, Suva, killing him instantly was to have graduated on Friday.

The other – who was driving a minibus – died at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital after being thrown from the vehicle by the impact of a head-on collision along Princes Road.

Ashwin Kumar, 22, lost his best friend of four years, Kritesh Kumar, 25, in an accident along Ratu Mara Road opposite the RFMF Officers Quarters in Nabua, Suva.

Police spokesperson Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said Kritesh was travelling towards Suva when his car veered off the road and hit a lamp post. He died instantly.

Our article on April 22 – 72 year old death from Manoca Nausori (April 19) Inoke Naroba, 72, of Dravo Village, in Tailevu, was the only iTaukei in the close-knit community of Manoca, near Nausori.

Neighbour Farnaaz Hussein said: “Uncle was a loner and a very private person. When we invited him he would only stay for a short time before returning to his home.”

Latest figures from LTA
8000 speeding and reckless driving Traffic Infringement Notice [TIN] issued in the first quarter of 2015 alone.
14,934 bookings were made in the first quarter.
8251 bookings comprise of speeding violations.
2766 speeding violations were caught and captured through the LTA Speed camera.
5485 were booked through daily operations and enforcement work for speeding.
6687 TIN issued to other violations such as failure to comply or use safety devices
453 incorrect parking or stopping violator’s accounts to.
542 bookings made on carriers carrying excess passengers,
526 people booked for failure to produce driving license,
440 booked for failure to obey road markings,
400 booked for careless driving
282 booked for violating mobile communication regulation.



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