NATION

Ex-Teacher Seeks Compensation

  A school teacher who says he has been declared medically unfit to work because of injuries he suffered from the bus accident in Wakanisila, Kalabu, Nasinu in 2014, is
19 Feb 2016 10:30
Ex-Teacher Seeks Compensation
The Raiwaqa bus that went out of control at Wakanisila settlement in Laqere yesterday. Photo: PAULINI RATULAILAI.

 

A school teacher who says he has been declared medically unfit to work because of injuries he suffered from the bus accident in Wakanisila, Kalabu, Nasinu in 2014, is now seeking help.

Samueli Sautamata Ritova, 44, a father of three, is now wheelchair-bound.

He wants to be compensated to support his family. He has had nine operations since the accident.

Mr Ritova was a teacher of Kalabu Primary School when the incident happened.

He was one of the passengers in the bus belonging to Raiwaqa Buses Limited that was carrying 40 school children and veered off the road in Wakanisila, Kalabu on the morning of May 28, 2014.

“I seek Government’s help to intervene and take action against the Raiwaqa Buses Limited for causing us to suffer like this,” the Namalata, Kadavu native said.

“We were told that the bus that took us that morning had been stopped by the LTA and was not to operate anymore, but the bus company claimed that the driver who drove the bus that morning had picked the keys and drove the bus. I want to know if the bus driver was accountable to anyone superior,”Mr Ritova said.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations, Semi Koroilavesau said: “I am not aware of the case, but I will look in to it.”

Raiwaqa Buses Limited director Krishan Kumar said: “I am not aware of the accident that happened in 2014 as I was away overseas, but I will comment after I gather all the information on the accident.”

Mr Ritova said: “The driver’s negligence has messed up our lives and even though I survived that fateful incident, I am helpless.

“I am a father and husband. My family looks up to me for support and where can I get it now because I don’t have a job.

“I have been medically retired as I am not fit to work and I don’t know for how long. I still have 10 more years of service as a school teacher, but I am stuck in a wheelchair now and stay at home because I could not do anything.”

He said he also contacted the Prime Minister’s Office for help and had been advised to visit the Ministry of Labour.

He said: “The Ministry of Labour have been very helpful and have responded really well and are still waiting for my physical impairment assessment which will enable me to receive compensation.”

He has also sought help from two insurance companies.

Edited by Maikeli Seru

Feedback:  luisa.qiolevu@fijisun.com.fj

 

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