Police trying to locate family of the third person killed in Saturdays’ horrific traffic incident

Part of the remains of the passenger bus after is flipped over when it collided with a minivan

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – MONDAY 29 JANUARY 2018: Police have the names of the three people killed in last Saturdays horrific traffic accident at Puipa’a but have yet to locate the family of the third woman.

The police report of the accident released this morning named the woman as Itagia Samuelu, a 51 year old woman of Nofoali’i and her body is in the morgue.

Sergeant Magalo Pule, the investigating officer said witnesses and other passengers injured in the accident who knew the deceased identified them. However, it’s been three days since the incident and the woman’s family have not turned up.

He said they are working together with the community to notify the victim’s family.

The accident happened around 2.00 last Saturday afternoon when a Mazda MPV minivan 18167 and a bus M/O.266 collided and the bus overturned killing three and injuring 29 passengers.

According to Sergeant Pule’s report, those killed were the bus driver, 25 year old Meafou Sa’u of Apolima, Leatu Tausaga, a 71 year old woman of Manono-tai, and Itagia Samuelu, a 51 year old woman of Nofoali’i. Most of the 29 injured passengers had been treated and released.

Cause of Incident   
The minivan driven by Faitasia Ofoia, 45 years of Tulaele and Siumu was traveling westwards on the west coast road.

On arriving at Puipaa, he pulled to the side of the road to buy fish from a stall and then decided to take a U-turn towards the east.

The bus also travelling westwards reached the spot where the fish stall was, as the minivan was turning.

“While the minivan reversed towards the main road, the bus arrived at the same spot and the vehicles collided causing the bus to flip over,” said the report.

The driver of the minivan is in a serious condition and still in hospital.

Police have noted that the road section where the incident took place at Puipa’a is known for serious traffic accidents in the past. Last year, bus and a minivan collided at the around the same spot, killing a passenger of the bus.

Members of the village helping get what remains of the bus on its tyres up after landing on its roof