Images from the accident at Puipa’a 11 March 2017
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 25 JULY 2017: A witness in the ongoing trial against Chinese national on trial for negligent driving causing death, Kenji Li said the defendant was driving too fast then swerved and crashed into a bus, killing one passenger.
The witness was Constable Ioapo Pilitoseti who was on duty at the police road block at Puipa’a on the day of the incident, 11th March 2017.
Ioapo told the Court that car driven by Li was speeding and crashed into the bus.
He said he was returning to the Apia police station on a motorbike, and was riding alongside the pathway, not the main road.
There were about ten other cars before Li’s car, and they were traveling at low speed trying to avoid potholes.
However, he said as soon as Li’s car reached the part of the road that was smooth, he “overtook other cars and smashed straight on to the (oncoming) bus.”
The Constable said he saw Li’s car speeding and knew what was going to happen so he stopped and watched.
“The car crashed into the bus, I saw one of Li’s car tyres rolling out from the car and there was screaming,” said Ioano.
He said he then ran towards the bus and saw a man lying on the ground.
“I saw a baby on the man’s chest and I ran towards them, but several women were before me and one woman grabbed the baby and started crying,” said Ioapo.
He said it was him who stopped a taxi and brought the injured man to the hospital.
Defense counsel Leota Raymond Schuster asked Ioapo to identify if Li was speeding all the way before the incident, but Ioapo said “only when he (Li) reached smooth ground.”
Ioapo guessed that it only took nine seconds for Li to overtake and then the collision with the bus.
The case continues.