Four injured, power out after Lalovaea crash

A red pick-up truck, driven by a church minister accompanied by his wife and two other passengers struck an electric pole at Lalovaea on Friday morning causing a power outage that lasted for hours. 

One local resident, Tasesa Lam Sam, who witnessed the crash said he believed that speeding was a contributing factor to the crash. 

The vehicle was packed with bricks and en route to Faleasi'u.

Instead, its crash caused an injury to all four occupants of the vehicle.

"It was beside my home where this incident happened. The car came from the Malifa four corner crossroad. It was the Church Minister who was driving," Mr. Lam Sam told this newspaper.

"The two men who were in the back flew out of the car and into the banana batches and onto the boulders behind that house, where the car had come to a stop.

"And by the time I went over to help one of the men, the wife of the church minister emerged from the car with blood coming from her forehead."

Mr. Lam Sam said he was told by the men that the car's brakes had failed, which resulted in their speeding downhill from the four corners.

"They told me the car had no more brakes but as they came downhill, it seems the driver knew they were going too fast and there were vehicles slowing down at the crossing, so to avoid that the Church Minister swerved into the road that goes up to Apaula," he said.

"But when he swerved, the tyres screeched and this is when I saw the car hit the electricity pole; he could not control it. They were going too fast.

"And the car is a manual vehicle, by the time the church minister reacted it was too late to swerve anywhere else to avoid it."

He said it was not long until the Fire and Emergency Servies Authority and Police arrived at the scene.

One of the men was thrown out of the car when it came in contact with the pole and sustained significant injuries, including a dislocated shoulder. Both passengers were removed from the scene on stretchers.

Although that was not the only shocking occurrence during the incident, said Mr. Lam Sam.

He said a young man who approached the scene attempted to steal the belongings of the church minister and his wife while they were being attended to by first responders. 

Mr. Lam Sam said, fortunately, his wife and children witnessed the young man attempt to discreetly steal a cellphone from the car and place it in his pocket.

"Luckily we have recovered it, my wife and another relative of mine went up to the kid and told him to hand it back,” he said. 


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