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Friday night crash “not a big matter”

The Lepea village mayor has brushed off a traffic incident on Friday night involving a vehicle that crashed into a billboard and landed in the village yard, saying it is “not a big matter.”

The incident involved a Ford Explorer vehicle that crashed into a Vodafone Samoa billboard at 10pm Friday.

A video of the incident was uploaded to Facebook by a villager with the footage showing unidentified men trying to beat up the driver of the vehicle.

However, Lepea village mayor, Fainu’ulelei F. Moors, told Samoa Observer in an interview that it was “not a big matter.”

“I know the villages have their own protocols and believe in handling such matters but accidents are merely accidents,” he said. "We have our own village protocols to discipline those kinds of attitudes and every Tuesdays, we hold a village meeting involving all youths to give them that message, behave."

According to an eyewitness from Lepea, Marcarios Emani Mao, the male driver appeared drunk when the villagers got to him. 

“He jumped into the field (others thought he was trying to escape) and so we got to him and called the ambulance and the police,” he said.

He was later taken to the hospital while the police continued their investigations on Friday night.

Attempts by the Samoa Observer to get a comment from the Police were unsuccessful. Fainu’ulelei in an appeal to all villages urged them to discipline the youth when it comes to such matters.

“Samoa is all about courtesy and we do everything based on that respect driven from our culture within our families,” he said. “Everything is on the Police’s hands now so we’re just going to lay back, let the police do their job and we just wait on that. The most paramount part here is that no one was severely injured.”

According to the mayor, the village is considering meeting with the family of the driver to agree on some form of compensation for the damaged properties in the village.

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