The owner of the Queen Patsy bus, Tiatia Noa Tiatia, which crashed last Friday, has apologised to the victims of the crash – including the family of the man who died earlier this week.
“I have visited all the victims and their families on Saturday to apologise and they have accepted it,” Tiatia told the Samoa Observer.
“What has happened is very unfortunate and I am extremely sorry for the pain this has caused.”
Of more than 50 passengers admitted to the hospital as a result of the crash, Va’a Opetai, of Siumu, died on Sunday night from injuries he received.
Tiatia said he visited Va’a before he passed and he spoke with his family.
“It’s my duty as the owner of the business to offer my condolences to the families who have lost their son as well as the families of all those who have suffered from the accident,” he said.
Tiatia is a businessman from Sa’aga Siumu. He said his business has been serving the constituency for nine years and he only wanted to offer the best for his people.
Tiatia denied claims that the brakes failed. The bus would never have been allowed on the road if that were the case.
Instead he said that from what he’s been told, the driver was reckless and that he was speeding down the hill.
“I don’t agree with those claims that it was the brakes that caused the incident,” he said.
Tiatia said when he visited the bus driver at the hospital, he told him off for being careless.
“It is a 2016 bus from China and it is a new bus,” said Tiatia.
The bus was first registered for the Tiavi route but was recently transferred to cover Safata. He added that the driver should not have taken the Tiavi route.
“At first, I couldn’t believe that it was one of my buses when I was told about the accident because what I know is that all my buses are not supposed to take any trips to Siumu.
“I only believed it when I arrived at the scene and saw my bus in pieces.
“That’s when I started to worry and asked myself about how many passengers have died.”
Tiatia said he was finally at peace when he was told that no one died.
“I just thanked God that day when I was told that no one had died right away.”
Tiatia said he would let the Police do their work to investigate what happened.