Family tells of heartbreak

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene 10 June 2018, 12:00AM

The uncle of the deceased 19-year-old who was killed in a hit and run incident early Sunday morning last week has opened up about their family’s heartbreak.

Pitoa’i Tile Maiava said the deceased, Miki Pelefoti, was the eldest child of three. His mother is Stella Pelefoti from Faleasi’u.

The passing of her son was unbearably painful for her that she told her brother to speak on her behalf. Pitoa’i told the Sunday Samoan that what had occurred is hard for them to accept. 

“At this moment we don’t want to say much of who is at fault,” he said. 

“The biggest devastation that we are facing now is that Miki has passed on; he was his mother’s right hand in everything in their family.

“He was the eldest child of my sister’s children. Miki has always been a quiet child even though we say things to him; he just looks at us and laughs.

“We are overwhelmed with what has happened and the most painful part is him leaving without a word to his mother and to us,” he said.

Pitoa’i shared that Miki had his own weaknesses in life.

“I have heard that if we are to testify in an accident or a funeral, I should never only reveal the good within the person who has passed away.

“I believe that each person has their own weaknesses in life. Miki was good, but had his own shortcomings too.

“He was disobedient and with him not listening is also the reason that this incident has happened. Like I said before, Miki also had a part to play in what has happened,” Pitoa’i said.

 “I don’t blame the driver nor will I blame Miki either because we are not certain of the time in the night that the accident happened. We were only aware of what had happened when we got the call and it was past 12am.

“I cannot say that the driver is at fault or Miki is wrong too. I will speak truthfully from the heart with how I feel and my own understanding with what had happened, both the driver and Miki are at fault.

“Miki made a mistake with going on the road and also the driver who was careless with his driving. I don’t want to blame one person. 

“He did not say anything about dying. We felt that he knew that his time has come when he started to speak about coffins and those who have passed on. This was his conversation with his cousin on Friday night before he passed away.” 

Pitoa’i advises everyone to use this as a lesson when walking on the road.

“Let what has happened to Miki be a lesson for some of the youth in other villages, not just here in Faleasiu. I speak specifically to those who walk on the road drunk and also those who play games on the road. This is the reason accidents happen and others would be at fault.

“Both sides would be at fault. There are some careless drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and there are people playing on the road, no doubt they will get hit, which is the reason we must be careful.”

Pitoa’i said there is no certain date of when the burial will be held because Police investigation still continues. 

Meanwhile, according to Police Spokesperson Auapaau Logoitino Filipo, the driver of the Ford Ranger that killed the 19-year-old and injured his friend has turned himself in to the Police station on Wednesday.

 “He is charged with negligent driving causing death and at the moment we are taking the accused’s statement before a date is set for his court appearance,” Auapaau said. 

According to reports, the deceased and his friend were crossing the road at Faleasiu in front of the Congregational Christian Church when the said vehicle hit the two victims.

The vehicle was heading from Faleolo to Apia when he hit the two teenagers.

The 19-year-old died at the scene while his friend was taken to the hospital because he sustained severe injuries.

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene 10 June 2018, 12:00AM

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