Police hunt finds wanted driver

By Ilia L. Likou ,

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THE CAR: The car involved in the deadly hit and run on Sunday at Sapunaoa, Falealili. Photo: Facebook.

THE CAR: The car involved in the deadly hit and run on Sunday at Sapunaoa, Falealili. Photo: Facebook.

The 26-year-old driver of a car who hit and killed a Mormon missionary on Sunday has been found and charged.

This was confirmed by a senior Police Officer who spoke to the Samoa Observer on the condition of anonymity yesterday.

According to him, the man has been charged with negligent driving causing death and failing to report the matter to the Police.

The officer added that the driver was under the influence of alcohol.

After his vehicle hit the missionary, he took off which led to a full blown Police hunt for his whereabouts. 

They found him at Satalo on Monday afternoon.

The Samoa Observer was also told that the man had just returned from the Regional Seasonal Employment Scheme and that the vehicle he was driving was a rental car.

The deceased missionary has been identified as Elder Aaron Ahkau Matapa Patiole.

"Elder Aaron Ahkau Matapa Patiole, age 21, was killed when he was struck by a vehicle in Upolu, Samoa, as he and his companion were walking together," said Eric Hawkins, a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a statement released on Sunday.

Patiole is from Australia. He had been in the Samoa Apia Mission since December 2016.

"With great sadness, we announce the death of one of our full-time missionaries," Mr. Hawkins said in his statement.

"We are grieved by his loss and we extend our prayers and love to his family and loved ones. We pray they will be blessed with peace as they mourn the loss of this valiant young man.”

The Samoa Observer was told Elder Patiole was among two missionaries walking on the road when the incident happened. Elder Patiole died at the hospital.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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