NEWS

Kasavu Mum Hopeful of Son’s Safety

Vehicle plunges into river. Driver, 18, identified. Three more people are believed to have been in the vehicle.
25 Apr 2019 12:53
Kasavu Mum Hopeful of Son’s Safety
Police officers cordon off the accident scene after 18 year-old Tasleem Ali allegedly lost control of the car he was driving and veered into the Rewa River along Waidra Settlement in Tailevu on April 24, 2019. INSET: Missing...18-year-old Tasleem Ali of Kasavu. Photo: Ronald Kumar

 

An emotionally distraught mother yesterday remained hopeful that her 18-year-old son Tasleem Ali will return to her, safely.

Mr Ali had allegedly lost control of the vehicle he was driving along Baulevu Road at around 8.20am yesterday before it plunged into the Rewa River.

Police confirmed that Mr Ali was in the vehicle, however, it was not clear whether any other person was with him when the incident happened.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said initial reports stated four people were in the vehicle, but they have to sight the vehicle before confirming this.

MOTHER’S HOPE

His mother, Rehana Ali from Kasavu, shared with the Fiji Sun how her son had plans to become a professional soccer player.

Tasleem had completed Year 12 last year at Nasinu Muslim College and had big plans for himself. One of them included taking care of his mother.

“A week ago I had asked him what his plan for the future was and he told me he wanted to be a soccer player. He had recently purchased his new soccer boots and a ball showing his passion for the game,” Ms Ali said.

She said she was at the hospital in Nausori for her medical check-up when she received the news of the accident.

“Tasleem was at home with my grandson. After morning prayer today, I had told him that my grandson was sleeping at home and for Tasleem to look after his nephew.

“When I left before 8am he was home. Around 9.20am, my neighbour called and told me that my grandson was standing on the terrace crying because no one else was at home.

“I called Tasleem from the hospital, but his phone was diverted.

“Later, I received a call from my elder son who told me that an accident happened in Waidra and the vehicle had veered off the road into the river. I went to Waidra where I found out that it was my son driving our family car,” Ms Ali said.

“A good and kind hearted boy he always stayed home and if we had to go anywhere, we would go together. He always followed prayer rituals and went to the Mosque every Friday.

“Why he went to Waidra is mysterious to me, but I still have high hopes and pray that he will come back home safe.”
SEARCH CALLED OFF

Given the bad weather conditions and rising water levels the Fiji Police Force decided to call off the search for the vehicle and whoever was in it.

Divers had arrived at the scene and searched along the river bank, before it was called off at around 12.45pm. The divers had made rounds to search for the vehicle around the river bank but were unsuccessful.
DISBELIEF

Tasleem’s elder brother Aiyub Khan, 27 was in disbelief when he spoke to the Fiji Sun.

“We had never thought to see this day for him,” Mr Khan said.

“We always wished him the best and hoped that he prosper in life.
EYE WITNESS ACCOUNT

Rizwan Ali, 39, said he was on his way to work with his workmates yesterday when Tasleem’s vehicle allegedly overtook his vehicle.

“I slowed down and parked the vehicle on the side of the road.

“I saw the vehicle veer off the road in a zig-zag motion. It seemed the driver lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle spun around and veered off hitting two trees by the river bank.

“I ran to see the vehicle and called out for the driver, but neither the vehicle nor the driver was seen.

“I could not see how many people were in the vehicle because the windows were tinted,” Mr Ali said.

Police comments

Ms Naisoro said the initial report received had stated that four people were in the vehicle.

“The divers were sent to conduct a search of the vehicle and the missing persons, however, the search was called off due to bad weather conditions because it was too dangerous for the divers,” she said.

“It is our responsibility to also consider the safety of divers.

“The search may continue tomorrow (today) depending on the weather conditions,” Ms Naisoro added.

Edited by Percy Kean

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