NATION

From Roadworks To Escort

Fulton Hogan maintenance crew helps students and teachers stuck on Wailevu West coast road to their homes As darkness turned to light 24 hours after Tropical Cyclone Winston, a three-ton
19 Mar 2016 09:29
From Roadworks To Escort
fijisun.com.fj

Fulton Hogan maintenance crew helps students and teachers stuck on Wailevu West coast road to their homes

As darkness turned to light 24 hours after Tropical Cyclone Winston, a three-ton truck crammed with 15 male and female hostel students and two teachers from Savusavu Secondary School maneuvered cautiously along the Wailevu West coast road.

Some 60 kilometres from Savusavu, the truck came to a halt before a fallen tree that hindered any further progress.

It was Monday, February 22. Fulton Hogan Hiways depot managers Isaac Rakabikabi (Labasa) and Solomone Nabete (Savusavu) were out early assessing damage and clearing debris to enable access for vehicles and pedestrians.

But this wasn’t going to be their only responsibility that morning.

When the depot managers and their maintenance crews came across the stuck children and their truck they made an executive decision to escort the students and teachers to their homes.

It was because they had no idea if the road ahead was safe to travel or whether they even had a home to go to after Winston. Most of the students lived along Wailevu.

Mr Rakabikabi recalls: “Around 10am we met a group of students and some teachers in a three-ton truck.

“They sat on the road waiting for our crew to clear access. Even if they did get across they didn’t know how far they could go because our crew had yet to reach the other side.

“We decided to escort the truck just to make sure the students reached their villages safely.

“There were places where they were stuck in the mud so we had to use our truck to pull them out. More vegetation had to be cleared. We went all the way up until their three-tonne truck could go no further.

“We took the remaining students into the company vehicle and dropped them off. We didn’t want to risk letting them go on their own and not reaching their parents,” he said.

Mr Rakabikabi said they didn’t know how else to do it and because they had the company vehicle it was the only way they could help the teachers and children.

Source:Fulton Hogan Hiways

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 



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