Family Joy Cut Short

Father walks painstakingly to Maternity Ward to tell his wife, who gave birth to a baby girl, that their 14-year-old son was lying in the mortuary.
11 Jan 2021 10:41
Family Joy Cut Short
An emotional Sekove Waqadau Senior with a photo of his son and namesake at their home in Korovisilou on January 10, 2021. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Senievo Waqadau was recovering in hospital and celebrating the birth of her fourth child on Wednesday.

But her joy was cut short.

On Saturday evening, she received news that her second child, 14-year-old Sekove, had died after a Sunbeam bus allegedly bumped the teenager and his horse near their home in Korovisilou, Serua.

Sekove Waqadau in happier days.

Sekove Waqadau in happier days.

An emotional Sekove Waqadau Senior recalled how he had seen the bus come through the stretch.

He was working on his farm while his son was on horseback on the side of the road.

“My wife just gave birth last Wednesday and was still in hospital with our new-born daughter when I went with the body of my son to the mortuary,” he said sobbing.

“It was so hard as I made my way up to her ward to tell her of the fate our son ‘Papa’, had met.”

Young Sekove’s death marks the country’s first fatality on our roads this year. The accident happened around midday on Saturday along the Vunaniu stretch.

Mr Waqadau said he was close to his namesake and did most things together.

“We were out farming on that day and he had just dropped off at home a wheelbarrow of cassava for his cousin who had just arrived from the Cook Islands,” he said.

Little did he know that his two sons had planned to get on their horses and visit their other farm that was uphill.

The Vunaniu stretch along the Queens Road  in Korovisilou is where the accident took place. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

The Vunaniu stretch along the Queens Road
in Korovisilou is where the accident took place. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

“My eldest son was on one horse while Sekove was on the other and they were riding from the main road,” he said.

“From where I was, I could not see them on the roadside but I could see the bus.”

Mr Waqadau was tending to his farm when he looked up to see the speeding bus coming down the stretch.

“My first thought was that the bus was travelling too fast and I looked back down to continue working,” he said.

“Within seconds, my daughter ran up to me. She was shouting my son’s name and saying what had happened.”

Mr Waqadau ran to the accident scene. A crowd had formed around his son who lay motionless and bleeding severely.

“By the time I got to him, a man was already carrying him into his car to rush to Korovisilou Health Centre,” he said.

“I do not know that family, but I want to thank them, wherever they are now, for doing what they did in trying to save my child.”

Police said young Sekove was thrown off his horse on impact and the horse died instantly.

The teenager died later at the health centre.

“It hurts so much now that he is no more because he was always by side, always looking out for me,” Mr Waqadau said.

“I saw him as my successor to my farm property as his older brother was more of a sports person and my namesake was into farming.”

Sekove would have been a Year Nine student of Ratu Latianara College.

Mr Waqadau is calling on authorities to consider the upgrade of the Health Centre facility so it can cater for serious cases.

The postmortem examination is expected to take place today.

The family would bury young Sekove on Thursday.

The bus driver is in custody as Police investigations continue.



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