Families Remember Victims Of Nabou Crash In Special Service Today

Families would gather in prayer at the Burning Fire Healing Ministry Church near Yavusania Village in Nadi.
04 Aug 2019 16:11
Families Remember Victims Of Nabou Crash In Special Service Today

On this day last year 15 people boarded a minibus in the early hours in Nadi headed for Suva to watch the Deans Trophy grade semi-finals.

Little did they know that within a few hours six people would be dead at Nabou, midway between Nadi and Sigatoka, making it the most fatal accident on record in the country.

Four of the dead were in the minibus and two were Korean nationals in the vehicle travelling in the opposite direction.

Two others would die in hospital from injuries they suffered.

Today’s event

Fast forward a year and families of the dead plan to hold a remembrance church service in Nadi today.

Speaking to the Fiji Sun team from her home at Sikituru Village yesterday was Milika Saukuru, who lost her youngest son, Josavati Saukuru (Junior), in the horrific crash.

She said the families would gather in prayer at the Burning Fire Healing Ministry Church near Yavusania Village in Nadi.

Mrs Saukuru, a staunch Christian, said although she still missed her son, she was content that he was with God.

“It broke my heart that I had to release him to the Lord and I wish I could see him again,” she said.

“The day he passed away, I wasn’t myself, I didn’t eat properly, I didn’t sleep well and I was out of this world.”

She said the memories he left behind still lingered in her heart and would be cherished forever.

Separate memorial

Mrs Saukuru said her family would host a separate memorial gathering at the family home at Sikituru Village on August 7, which was the day he passed away.

“The gathering will be a special one giving thanks to the Lord for Jo’s life,” she added.

Meanwhile, the survivors of the crash still also reminisce on the day that shocked the whole nation.

Alena Lawanikula, whose son Maikeli Vula Misimisi, 19, survived the crash, said she believes he was saved by God’s grace.

She said seeing her son alive after the crash was, indeed, a blessing.

Mrs Lawanikula, who is the front office duty manager at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa in Nadi, said she was still trying to digest the continuous blessings her family received, one of which being Maikeli’s recent inclusion into training for the British Army.

“He survived by God’s grace,” she said.

“After the incident it was a bit hard for us because he was on his final year at secondary school at Sangam Sadhu Kuppuswamy Memorial College (SSKMC) in Nadi and after the incident he stayed home for almost two months.

“He told his father, Penijamini Lawanikula, he wanted to stay home but I spoke to him and gave him some advice because I am the only one working in the family whereas my husband is a pastor.

“I told him not to waste one year and to just try and go back to school and do whatever you can.

“I told him ‘those who have passed away in the incident have gone, you survived and that only shows that God has a plan and a purpose for you on this earth’.”

She said despite the accident, her son continued to be strong and stay positive.

“I am very grateful to the school, which was very supportive of him and his school work and he also managed to pass his Year 13 annual examinations,” Mrs Lawanikula said.

“Maikeli told me after school he wanted to become a town planner because he loves drawing, but we didn’t know God had His own plans.”

She added that Maikeli had applied for the position of driver and mechanic and is expected to graduate on October 4, 2019.

“He is happy and coping with the training at the Army Training Centre in Pirbright, England,” Mrs Lawanikula said.

Nabou Crash

It was believed that the minivan was heading to Suva when it hit a truck belonging to Grace Road Group, which was coming from the opposite lane. The accident also involved a third vehicle.


Maikeli Vula, Jekope Vunicagi, Iliesa Rokubu, Laisenia Vunibola, Waisea Ratu, Sailasa Laudola, Litiana Mainewa, Joeli Ratulevu, Inoke Bulimaitoga, Nemani Turagaiviu and Tevita Seruitukana

Edited by Epineri Vula


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