EPC vehicle hits Vailele man, allegedly driven by drunk

A man was hit at Vailele Uta last Friday evening by a vehicle owned by the Electric Power Corporation (EPC).

The traffic accident comes a month after the EPC management appealed to the public to report reckless drivers, who continued to abuse State-owned assets. 

The EPC-owned vehicle at the centre of the accident last Friday evening was allegedly driven by a current employee, who was following his wife who was ahead in another car. 

The incident was witnessed by a number of villagers who were playing volleyball in the evening, just up the road from the grounds of the Samoa Primary School. 

Speaking to the victim who is in his 60s, he said he has no intentions to press charges against the driver who is also from Vailele. The victim also didn't want to be identified. 

According to an eye witness, who asked that he is not identified, he was having a conversation with the victim when the accident occurred.

"We were just having a conversation on the side of the road while two vehicles went past us, almost crashing into each other as they were speeding, and about 20 feet from us the pick up truck stopped, two of them inside drunk in an EPC vehicle.

"The vehicle reversed all of a sudden and I was quick to  back up and they ended up hitting the poor man and he fell down straight; we went to try and wake him and we were all so confused," he told Samoa Observer.

He said the two men in the vehicle did not jump out to see what had happened, but instead asked the volley players what happened. This led to the pair getting verbally abused by the crowd, which had already started to gather around the victim.

"We stopped his wife's (drunk driver's wife) vehicle and told her what her husband had done and she said, she has no business in what just happened and we shouldn't be worried, just be quiet.

"There were so many of us there, and we all heard what she said – which showed us that this was no accident – this car just stopped 20 feet from us and reversed into the poor man. The man in the passenger seat was holding a beer bottle," he continued.

Although the eye witness said it just an accident and admitted to personally knowing the driver who was allegedly drunk, the eye witness said he "feels sorry" for the EPC employee.

"I don't want to say anything that might affect him and his job, unless a report is filed to the police by the hospital. But not from me I feel sorry for my brother.

"Because if it were me also, I wouldn't want anybody to say anything. It was not on purpose, he was just reversing to go pick up the reverend's umu, and I was in the way," said the victim.

Comment is being sought from the EPC general manager  Tologata Tile Tuimaleali'ifano. Just last month,  Tologata urged the public to report any of their vehicles that are seen to be speeding and driven by irresponsible drivers.

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