Woman Dead; Students Jump From Crash Bus

Forty- one students in the Serua Kaji Rugby team are counting their lucky stars after their bus crashed in Navua. But a retired teacher, Teresia Makosoi Rounds, one of the
22 Aug 2015 13:43
Woman Dead; Students Jump From Crash Bus
Firefighters gather the belongings of the accident victims and Fiji Electricity Authority staff work on the broken power post ear Makosoi in Pacific Harbour, yesterday. Photo: Jona Konataci

Forty- one students in the Serua Kaji Rugby team are counting their lucky stars after their bus crashed in Navua.

But a retired teacher, Teresia Makosoi Rounds, one of the six adults in the bus, was not so lucky.

Ms Rounds, 64, of Galoa,  died from the crash impact.

She was on her way home with her grandson Luke Qalibau who was part of the Under-12 Serua Kaji Rugby team when the bus veered off the road and hit an electricity post.

The players were accompanied by five parents and team manager, Varasiko Cegutuilagi.

They were on their way home from participating in the Galaxy Kaji Rugby competition that ended on Thursday.

Mr Cegutuilagi described the accident as one of his worst experiences. He said he would never be able to explain or forget it.

He said when the bus had hit the post, his thoughts was only on the children to be moved out of the bus safely.

“The bus was a bit unstable and veered off to the roadside where it hit the electricity post. When the accident took place one of the two ladies who were parents sitting at the side where the post hit died,” Mr Cegutuilagi said.

“The other lady who was also sitting in front was seriously injured at the moment. I was sitting in the middle. When the accident happened I saw the children trying their best to do something to get out of the bus.

“All I did was help get them out because my main concern was the electricity wire going above the bus. Most of them were crying because it’s something that we didn’t expect to happen. I told the boys to just thank God because everything that happened was done all according to the Lord’s plan.”

He claimed the bus was ‘running at its maximum speed’.

“Some tried to climb over. What I witnessed was that the senior students tried to get hold of their little brothers, some of them were bleeding so that was how we managed to get everyone out. While trying to get them out, most of them were crying for their parents.

“One of the students and one mother was taken up to CWM. Another parent who is the manager of the Under-10 grade,  tried his best to help but suffered an electric shock.

“I can’t explain what happened. As manager, after I saw what happened, I asked why it happened to us.”

The students were transported to the Navua Hospital in Naimelimeli near Navua for medical treatment. They crowded the corridor of the hospital, shocked and covered with blood stains.

Meanwhile, Mrs Rounds’ son, Alfred Romeo Rounds rushed from his home in Suva to check on his mother who he thought was only injured from the accident.

“We last met on Thursday evening and she was so happy. When I received the call I rushed to the scene. I did not really expect to receive this sad news,” he said.

An Under-13 player Alivereti Kamikamica said he was sleeping and woke up to the screams of his colleagues.

“I was really scared, the other players were shouting and crying for their parents. Most of us were sleeping because we were tired from the games,” he said.

Police spokesperson Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri confirmed that a woman died and another three were under observation at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva after sustaining serious injuries.



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