Dad Waited In Vain To Wish Son Happy B’day

But a phone call from his nephew, Navitalai Bakewa at around 10pm relayed the news that his son had died in an alleged motor vehicle accident
24 May 2022 15:26
Dad Waited In Vain To Wish Son Happy B’day
Jeremaia Nakoula (right) holding a photo of his late son, Eparama Naivolasiga, alongside his cousin, Navitalai Bakewa at their home at Tau Village in Nadroga on May 23, 2022. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

Jeremaia Nakoula was excited that Sunday evening as he prepared his home for a  grog session to welcome his son back home to celebrate his 30th birthday.

Mr Nakoula, 68, a single parent then waited patiently for the phone call from his youngest son, Eparama Naivolasiga to let him know he was on his way home from Nadi.

Eparama had gone to drop off the rental car they used over the weekend to attend a family wedding in Naitasiri.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the phone call he expected.

It was the phone call from his nephew, Navitalai Bakewa at around 10pm relaying the news that his son had died in an alleged motor vehicle accident.

Eparama, who was a casual worker at Zip Fiji, is the youngest child of five siblings.

A distraught Mr Nakoula said he only wished his son could have made it home to celebrate his 30th birthday.

“The last conversation I had with my son was on Thursday before he left for Naitasiri, we were at the dinner table and I spoke to him about getting married quickly, he just looked at me and smiled,” he said

The family is discussing funeral arrangements for Eparama.

Police spokesperson, Ana Naisoro said he was allegedly driving at high speed when he lost control of the vehicle causing it to veer off the road near Korovuto, Nadi after 9pm on Sunday.

He was returning to Tau Village from Nadi with his two relatives, Patimione Naitau, 32, and Rupeni Tuse, 30.

Eparama was rushed to the Nadi Hospital by Mr Bakewa but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Ms Naisoro said the two passengers were treated and discharged.

Mr Bakewa said he witnessed the alleged accident because he was traveling down to Nadi as Mr Naivolasiga, Mr Natau and Mr Tuse were on their way to Tau Village.

“I was on my way to Nadi from Tau Village. When we reached Korovuto Village I could see from a few meters in front their vehicle was speeding and came onto my lane and crashed into the streetlight then into the drain,” Mr Bakewa said.

“My wife told me to stop and help them. I immediately ran out and noticed that it was my own cousin that was the driver of that vehicle.

“The two passengers ran out of the vehicle, they were in shock over what had just happened.

“We carried him to my car and rushed to the Nadi Hospital, he was still breathing when we took him out of the vehicle but he took his last breath when we arrived at the hospital.”

Mr Bakewa said Eparama suffered serious injuries to his face.

He described his cousin as a quiet man who had a big heart for everyone.

Investigations into the alleged accident continue.

The road death roll now stands at 11 compared to nine for the same period last year.



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