NATION

Man Wakes Brother Up An Hour Before Kasavu Death Crash

The lovers were headed to Natovi to catch the ferry on their way to Savusavu when their vehicle ended up in a creek in Kasavu, outside Nausori.
27 Dec 2020 10:17
Man Wakes Brother Up An Hour Before Kasavu Death Crash
Tei’Ete O’Brien and girlfriend Merewalesi Rokotuitai... they died on their way to catch the ferry.

Romulus O’Brien had called his younger brother from Savusavu at 3.30am on Christmas Day to wake him up.

Little did he know that an hour later the lives of his brother Tei’Ete O’Brien, 31, and girlfriend Merewalesi Rokotuitai’s, 22, would come to an end.

The lovers were headed to Natovi to catch the ferry on their way to Savusavu when their vehicle ended up in a creek in Kasavu, outside Nausori. The vehicle was submerged in water in the Drekainakelo Creek just metres from the Rewa River.

“Ete and his girlfriend had missed the ferry from Natovi on Wednesday. They managed to get tickets for the Friday trip. He had asked me to call him and ensure that he was awake because he did not want to miss the ferry time,” Romulus O’Brien said.

“We were waiting for him. He told us he was bringing his girlfriend.”

Tei’Ete O’Brien was working in Nadi for All Tiling Limited and Merewalesi Rokotuitai was a draftsman for Clay Engineering. This was going to be his first trip back home to Vatadamu in Savusavu after more than a year.

One of the victims... Tei Ete Joe O’Brien.

One of the victims… Tei Ete Joe O’Brien.

Ete as he was called, had been on a break for a month. He had gone to Suva to spend time with the woman he loved and planned to take her home for Christmas so he could introduce her to his family in Savusavu.

When the ferry arrived in Nabouwalu on Christmas Day, the O’Brien family were wondering what had happened. Had Ete missed the ferry again?

“Christmas Day this year was to be special. We were celebrating the 50th anniversary of our aunt and uncle,” Romulus O’Brien said.

“We are six siblings and our parents died so we were brought up by them. And the whole family which make up the Vatadamu Settlement were waiting to see Ete.”

At around 3pm, the Police came and took Romulus for a drive. He was informed of the tragedy. He said the celebrations in Savusavu came to a halt. Heartache had taken over. No one was worried about the food and drinks that were prepared.

The wreckage of the vehicle pulled out of the creek at Drekai Nakelo in Tailevu on December 25, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

The wreckage of the vehicle pulled out of the creek at Drekai Nakelo in Tailevu on December 25, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Mr O’Brien arrived in Suva today. He plans to bury his younger brother on Friday. But before that he wants to meet with Merewalesi Rokotuitai’s family. He said he would seek permission to bury them together.

According to her older sister, Diyana Rokotuitai, who is in the United States, they had spoken to each other last Wednesday.

She said they discussed things as sisters, but Merewalesi, or Meme as she was known, did not give her any information that she was going to Savusavu.

She hails from Tonia Village in Tailevu. Meme stayed in Davuilevu with her cousins. Her parents were at the village and observed their Sabbath yesterday. The family is yet to reveal funeral plans.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj

Read more:



Fijisun Ad Space


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Tower Insurance
Advertise here
Covid 19 - SPC
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper