Boy, 2, Still Cry­ing Over Death of Mother, Sis­ter

Po­lice al­lege vic­tims killed while trav­el­ling to wed­ding in car driven by man who had no li­cence.

Fiji Sun - - Frontpage - SELITA BOLANAVANUA Edited by Naisa Koroi selita.bolanavanua@fi­jisun.com.fj

Atwo-year-old boy no longer has a mother to go to for com­fort, and an older sis­ter to lean on to for as­sis­tance.

Ru­si­ate Lala­vanua’s close family mem­bers said he could not stop cry­ing yes­ter­day be­cause his mother, Mere­wai Vu­nisa, was not around. Ms Vu­nisa, who is from Ra, and her daugh­ter, Ver­e­naisi Vug­ona, 4, were killed when the ve­hi­cle they were trav­el­ling in veered off the road at Nanuku along the Kings Road. They were on their way to at­tend a wed­ding in Raki­raki.

Young Ru­si­ate, and his fa­ther, Sisa Balekoro, were at the vil­lage at the time of the in­ci­dent. They were not at home when Fiji Sun vis­ited Vu­na­niu Vil­lage, Serua, yes­ter­day. The family lives in a farm house at the vil­lage. Ms Vu­nisa, who was in her 20s, was a house wife. Mr Balekoro is a farmer. News of their tragic death pierced the hearts of loved ones in the family and vil­lage com­mu­nity, who yes­ter­day, were still mourn­ing the death of a vil­lager whom they had laid to rest. Reel­ing with emo­tion, Ms Vu­nisa’s brother-in-law, Aisake Ratu, 48, de­scribed the tragic news as “heart­break­ing.” “It was re­ally an un­ex­pected news for us this morn­ing,” Mr Ratu said. “We are still mourn­ing the death of one vil­lager whom we buried to­day and now this. It gave us all a ter­ri­ble shock, but I am try­ing to put my emo­tions at ease.

“Be­fore they left the vil­lage I briefed them and told them to take pre­cau­tions on the way and de­spite that, the accident hap­pened.

“I told my wife that I will be drink­ing grog to­day so I can at least calm my­self. My brother is now in Raki­raki Hos­pi­tal to iden­tify their bod­ies.” 0U 5DWX DOVR FRQåUPHG WR Fiji

Sun that his sis­ter-in-law and her daugh­ter had left the vil­lage on Fri­day in the car, in­clud­ing his son.

Po­lice, in a state­ment, said the mother and daugh­ter died at the scene af­ter they were thrown out of the ve­hi­cle. An­other pas­sen­ger who was in the back seat suf­fered in­juries and is ad­mit­ted at the Raki­raki Hos­pi­tal. The ve­hi­cle was al­legedly driven by a 21-year-old man, who Po­lice al­leged, had no driver’s li­cence. He is be­ing ques­tioned. It is not clear who owns the car. The road death toll cur­rently stands at 46 com­pared to 55.

Photo: Face­book

In hap­pier days... Mom Mere­wai Vu­nisa, with two-year-old son, Ru­si­ate Lala­vanua.

This is the car that Mere­wai Vu­nisa and her four-year-old daugh­ter, Ver­e­naisi Vug­ona, were trav­el­ling in be­fore tragedy struck. Photo: Face­book/Jay Vueti

Photo: Face­book

Ver­e­naisi Vug­ona (left), pic­tured here with dad Sisa Balekoro and brother Ru­si­ate Lala­vanua.

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