NEWS

Falling Logs Off Tumbling Truck Kill Dreketi Football Coach And 16-Year-Old Player

Police said the two were walking on the side of the road when the truck failed to negotiate a bend causing it to tumble.
04 Oct 2020 09:52
Falling Logs Off Tumbling Truck Kill Dreketi Football Coach And 16-Year-Old Player
Site of the deadly road accident along the Labasa/Nabouwalu Highway, near Nabavatu Village in Dreketi. Photo: Senhu Sein. Inset: IN HAPPIER DAYS... Karalaini Matare (right) and Sainaz Begum (left).

Two people lost their lives on Friday after a logging truck tumbled with its logs falling off, killing a woman and a 16-year-old girl.

Police said the two were walking on the side of the road when the truck failed to negotiate a bend causing it to tumble.

The incident happened along the Labasa/Nabouwalu Highway near Nabavatu Village in Dreketi.

The victims were Dreketi football coach Karalaini Matare and player Sainaz Begum.

IN HAPPIER DAYS... Karalaini Matare (right) and Sainaz Begum (left).

IN HAPPIER DAYS… Karalaini Matare (right) and Sainaz Begum (left).

Police said the truck was driven by a man in his 30s from Namaka, Nadi. Ms Matare and Sainaz were rushed to the Dreketi Health Centre where they were pronounced dead on arrival.

The site of the road accident.

The site of the road accident.

Football community mourns

Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel, said they had lost a passionate women footballer in Ms Matare, who he said had football at heart and took to coaching after retiring from being a player.

He also said Sainaz was a budding footballer who had been playing for the Dreketi team with distinction and was a prospect who would have had a bright future in the sport.

Matare’s husband grieves

Coach Matare’s husband Isoa Toloi was still reeling from shock at his home in Nabavatu Village in Dreketi yesterday.

Mr Toloi said it was around 4pm when the incident happened.

“I don’t know how to explain to my three children that their mother is no more,” Mr Toloi said.

Mr Toloi said he was returning home when he was informed about the incident.

“One thing I always admired about my wife was that she always used to help the underprivileged girls.”

He said his wife always showed an interest in football after leaving her job at Patterson Brothers Shipping Ltd and started playing soccer.

Isoa Toloi with his daughter Virisila Ovaova and son Filipo Kautavi mourning their late mother Karalaini Matare (circled right) on October 3, 2020. Photo: Renu Radhika

Isoa Toloi with his daughter Virisila Ovaova and son Filipo Kautavi mourning their late mother Karalaini
Matare (circled right) on October 3, 2020. Photo: Renu Radhika

“With her knowledge she started coaching and had given her best. Sainaz and my wife always used to stay and work together,” he said.

Mr Toloi said his wife started coaching two years ago and dreamed of taking the Dreketi Football Team to the next level this year.

“My wife was happy with the career she chose and was always involved in nurturing the girls.

“Even though we have a small house, it was always crowded,” he said.

Sainaz’s mother remembers her daughter’s dreams:

Sixteen-year-old accident victims Sainaz used to stay with her coach.

Her mother Mubashra Begum said it is hard to believe that her daughter was gone.

Mubashra Begum showing a photo of her late daughter Sainaz Begum. Photo: Renu Radhika

Mubashra Begum showing a photo of her late daughter Sainaz Begum. Photo: Renu Radhika

“She was a talkative, cheerful and down-to-earth person,” Ms Begum said.

Ms Begum said her daughter, who was a Year 12 student of Ahmadiya Muslim Secondary School, was a bright student and always eager to learn something new.

She said her daughter had dreams of playing in the national women’s football team in future.

“We were happy with her since she had given equal priority to her academic work and sports,” Ms Begum said.

Eye witness Amelia Materega said: “The two were returning from training, when the truck driver lost control of the truck which tumbled causing the logs to fall from the truck.”

Police confirmed that investigations into the incident were continuing.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: shratikan@fijisun.com.fj



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