NEWS

Cunningham River Tragedy: 14 Year Old Petero Was Eager To Get Back To School

Mother: Junior would tell his father that he would grow up and help us buy a vehicle and a good home. I am in so much pain and I am trying so hard to accept that he is no more
29 Jun 2020 12:29
Cunningham River Tragedy: 14 Year Old Petero Was Eager To Get Back To School
Cunningham River on August 31, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

A young boy’s excitement and eagerness to return to school this week has been shattered after he drowned in the Cunningham River on Saturday afternoon.

Fourteen-year-old Petero Tokatokalo Junior of Burelevu, Tailevu is the country’s latest drowning victim after a swimming trip he took with his friends turned fatal.

He was a Year Nine student at Nabua Secondary School.

At his family home in Caubati yesterday, Petero Jr’s emotional mother Naomi Tokatokalo said her son had been helping out at home with the chores on Saturday morning. She said he disappeared all of a sudden without notifying her of where he was going.

“We looked for him during lunch, but the neighbours had said that he had followed a group of kids from the neighbourhood going to the road,” Mrs Tokatokalo said.

“Not long after all that had happened, a group of young men came home to relay the news that Petero had gotten into a serious incident and was taken to the hospital.

“My husband rushed to the hospital only to be told that he was no more.”

Mrs Tokatokalo said a day before the incident, her son had been gathering all his school books and stationaries saying he couldn’t wait to get back to school.

He had requested a new school bag since his old bag needed repairs.

“He told me that he would ensure that he complete weeding in our garden this week before he resumes school,” she said.

“He was always helpful at home and he was a young man with big dreams.

“Junior would tell his father that he would grow up and help us buy a vehicle and a good home.

“I am in so much pain and I am trying so hard to accept that he is no more.”

Petero Junior was the eldest of three siblings.

According to Police, a post mortem examination would be conducted this week to ascertain the cause of death. His body was recovered by Police officers and was transported to the Suva Morgue.

Police investigations continue.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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