Tod­dler’s death breaks Tavua cou­ple’s hearts

Fiji Sun - - Fiji Today - CHARLES CHAM­BERS charles.cham­bers@fi­jisun.com.fj

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

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