Alleged hit and run driver charged
The Police have apprehended and charged a driver allegedly involved in a car racing incident that resulted in a crash and the death of 24-year-old Sioape Notoa from Lalovavea last Saturday.
The Deputy Police Commissioner, Papalii Monalisa Tiai-Keti, confirmed the suspect had been apprehended and charged on Friday afternoon.
"[It is] confirmed that we have charged one of the drivers," she said.
"However we are still seeking assistance from the public for information pertaining to two other vehicles and [their] drivers reported by witnesses and believed to be involved in the car race."
The man has been charged with negligent driving causing death.
The Police – based on eyewitness statements – said Notoa's death was allegedly caused by a white 4WD Toyota Hilux, which was racing with another vehicle along Vaitele Street and heading eastward towards Malifa.
Notoa's family who have made a public appeal to the perpetrator to come forward.
A few days ago, Notoa's mourning father, Notoa Kalauati Sioape, shared his grief over his son;s death with this newspaper saying he has been unable to eat and sleep since last Saturday.
The distraught man said his son had big plans for his family as he was preparing for seasonal work abroad next year.
Recollecting events in the lead-up to the death of his son, Sioape left home just after dark and, on his way home, borrowed a bike from a friend to go buy cigarettes between 8pm and 9pm.
That would be the last time he and his wife Tina saw him alive.
"He is an unforgettable child. He was the hardest of our children, at least to us"He is an unforgettable child. He was the hardest of our children, at least to us, but not when he is with our other families,” his father said.
“He was headstrong but kind and that’s something we will forever treasure about our son. My daughters continue to cry, I cannot eat or sleep, this has been very hard."