Toddler’s death breaks Tavua couple’s hearts
When Vani Nakani kissed her one-yearold daughter before she left for work yesterday she did not know it was her last goodbye.
A few hours later, Litia Rakavosa, the little “rose’’ of Mrs Nakani and husband Jone Nabaro, was killed in a freak accident in Vutuna Settlement, Tavua. A truck collecting empty bottles in the neighbourhood was reversing on the family’s driveway when it bowled over Litia, who was standing in the way. She died on the spot. As part of her routine before she went to work Mrs Nakani would prepare Litia’s breakfast, watched her enjoy her food, then kissed her goodbye. As she walked out she would wave to Litia, on her way to Abdul Jalil Construction, where she worked. What’s come back to haunt Mrs Nakani is Litia’s smiling face. Jone Nabaro, the child’s dad was too distraught to talk and was in tears as his “rose” was not going to be around anymore to cuddle and play with.
Mr Nabaro, 24, was at his village, Vatutavu, between Ba and Tavua when the accident happened. Litia was at home with a grandaunt when the three tonne truck with three occupants arrived to buy empty bottles. Jone Kuwe, whose wife, Milia Sovasiga, was at home, witnessed the tragedy. Mr Kuwe, who was at work, said his wife saw the truck drive in past Mr Nabaro’s home and stopped on the driveway just at the back of the house.
After collecting bottles, the driver and his two occupants boarded the truck to reverse out. It was just before it moved that Mrs Sovasiga noticed Litia standing at the back and her loud yells to the driver went unnoticed. Mr Kuwe said: “My wife said the driver just put the gear into reverse and the vehicle moved with some speed, crushing Litia under its tyres.” There was could do.
Police have renewed calls for parents and guardians to be little anyone more vigilant about the safety of their children. Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said the driver of the truck was unaware that the child was in harm’s way. Ms Naisoro said a relative of the victim and the four occupants of the truck were in Police custody and being questioned. “We are again pleading to parents and guardians to be vigilant about the safety of their children at all times,” she said
Litia’s life was short just like a rose. She blossomed and then withered away. But for Mrs Nakani she will always be alive in her memory. “We will never forget her smiling face. We will miss her so dearly,” she said. Edited by Nemani Delaibatiki