Salelologa crash kills 62-year-old father

A 62-year-old father from Fasito’o-tai died on Wednesday morning when the vehicle he was driving crashed at Salelologa, Savai’i.

The deceased man, identified as Sila Mateo, was driving a Serena mini-van carrying six other passengers.

They were family members who had travelled to Satufia Satupa’itea to attend a funeral there and were making their way to Salelologa to catch the ferry back to Mulifanua when tragedy struck.

Three passengers were admitted to the Tuasivi hospital with severe injuries while the other three had minor injuries. The driver was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

Steve Toa from Nofoali’i was one of the passengers.

“I will never forget what I experienced on the day,” he told the Samoa Observer.

“Everything happened so fast and it was just so sudden.

 “We were making our way back to Upolu after a family funeral and the only thing I remembered was when we left Satupaitea. I closed my eyes for a bit and the last thing I know was that we were closer to the Evaeva store in Salelologa.

“My eyes were still shut when all of a sudden I heard a very squeaky sound and a bang. I opened my eyes and found myself lying on the hospital bed all sore and hurting.”

Mr. Toa is grateful he survived.

 “When I woke up, I had so many questions; all I wanted was to recover well and come back to Upolu,” he said.

“What happened to us was something unexpected. My uncle wasn’t even speeding. But this confirms that saying, you never know what happens in the next hour or minute.

“I will always remember what happened and I hope to fully recover soon.”

The deceased man’s family is devastated by what has happened. Two of his children approached for a comment declined.

Police officers at Salelologa confirmed they are investigating the crash.

 “This is not the first time a crash has occurred at this area in Savaii,” a Police officer said.

 “As you might be aware, the intersection does not have any sign board and people who are new driving around the island especially during night time are not used to the roads there.”



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