NEWS

Holiday Boy Killed In Hit, Run

Fijian Yavala Junior, from Austria, was enjoying his school holidays in Nadi when it ended in tragic circumstances on Monday. Junior, 14, the eldest of four children, was mowed down
05 Aug 2015 11:39
Holiday Boy Killed In Hit, Run
In happier days... Rafaele Yavala Junior (front left) with his family. Photo: Facebook

Fijian Yavala Junior, from Austria, was enjoying his school holidays in Nadi when it ended in tragic circumstances on Monday.

Junior, 14, the eldest of four children, was mowed down by a hit-and-run driver at the Votualevu Road junction, in Nadi and died at the scene.

He was on his way to the Bula Festival when the fatal accident happened.

The victim and his family are here on a holiday from Vienna, Austria’s capital, where they have lived for nine years. The highlight of the Fijian holiday was to be  a trip to visit Batiri in Cakaudrove, where the victim’s mother, Mere Yavala, comes from.

His father, Rafaele Yavala Senior, is from Nacekoro, Savusavu. Mr Yavala Senior, a former policeman, works as a body guard for United Nations personnel in Vienna. He is still on his way here from Vienna to join the family but does not know about his son’s death yet. He is due to arrive at Nadi Airport today.

Mrs Yavala is with their three other children, Esther Yavala ,7, Jeremaia Yavala, 4, and Naomi Yavala 2 at her brother’s home in Matavolivoli, Nadi. She was too distraught to talk.

Mrs Yavala’s brother, Sepesa Waqa, said the family was still shocked.

Mr Waqa, recalling the incident, said: “It was after 6pm, my cousin brother’s wife was taking Junior to the Bula Festival. They were holding hands and walking,” he said.

“While in the process to cross the road, he let go of  her hand and ran across the road.”

“When he ran across the road a van hit him and did not stop at all but sped off.

“Following the first hit, a second vehicle that was behind the van went over the boy, the driver not knowing the first hit.”

“The driver of the second vehicle thought it was a dog underneath. When he got out he saw it was Rafaele at the bottom.”

Mr Waqa said onlookers ran to the young boy’s aid along with the terrified aunty.

“People ran and tried to lift the car to pull the boy out,” he said.

“This is unexpected and it’s sad because he was always happy and very obedient,” he said.

Mr Waqa said that Rafaele was looking forward to the trip to his mother’s village in Batiri, Cakaudrove.

Police Spokesperson Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said Rafaele was rushed to the Nadi Hospital, however, he died instantly at the scene.

“It is alleged that the white van fled from the scene soon after the accident,” he said.

Police are requesting the general public to assist them with information on the white van.

“We wish to remind parents to be cautious on the whereabouts of their children as we approach the end of another school term.”

He also urged motorist to be mindful of other road users while on using the road.

Feedback: saloteq@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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