A one-year-and-eight-months-old girl was killed in a tragic incident yesterday afternoon.
A Hiace Toyota bus ran over the child at Anamburu yesterday sparking great tension within the surrounding communities.
Erima Richard died yesterday minutes after impact.
Police confirmed she was standing in front of the white 15-seater bus and the driver failed to see her and ran over her when he took off, killing her instantly.
Rumours flared in the community of Anamburu that the driver was drunk but police said John Mera of West Ambae was on his way to drop a passenger when he unintentionally killed the child.
Police confirmed that the only passenger on the bus was supposed to drop off something at Makira community in Anamburu when the deceased walked to the road and was standing in front of the bus.
And because of her size as a child of nearly two years, the driver did not see her in front of the bus.
Police said that they received the call at around 4.30pm yesterday and rushed to the scene some two minutes later.
They described the fatal incident as negligence of the parents that led to a significant loss to the family.
Police said that the bus was not even going at 10km per hour.
“The driver was about to take off when he hit the child,” police continued.
They said that a child in that age was not supposed to be on the busy road but inside the house especially at the prime times when the traffic is very busy.
Police said that their figure showed that after some works done around the clock in Zero Tolerance Operation, the number of fatal crashes has significantly dropped and this case showed a poor performance of the parents and relatives who failed to supervise their child at home.
Police said that a charge is yet to be laid but confirmed dead by reckless driving will be a proper charge in this case.
Police are appealing to every parent to look after their children and take good care of them particularly when entering Christmas season.
Hundreds of people spilled out onto the main road to mourn the girl.
Daily Post witnessed another violent assault yesterday where the people around the area chased the driver down the road and assaulted him before handing him to the police.
But the heroic action of an off-duty police officer who was at the scene at the very moment saved the driver from the angry mob who some of them were retaliating with dangerous weapons such as knives, stones and pieces of metals.
They said that some personal belongings of the driver including the cash of the day were stolen and the rear windscreen was broken.
Witnesses said that the driver realised that ran over something and when he got out to check but other bystanders started screaming before he started running down the road.
The body was transported by ProMedical staff to Vila Central Hospital (VCH) following their protocol to deliver any victim to the hospital after their intervention.
Some hours later the body of the victim was released back to the family.
Sources within VCH confirmed the death and said that they have issued a dead certificate last night ready for burial sometimes today.
Mera was in police custody as of yesterday but eyewitnesses said that he was also in a stage that required medical examination when he was arrested.
His face was covered in blood with no shirt on after an action of what is labeled as more than ’20 on 1’.
The eyewitnesses alleged that the mother of the child was playing cards with others and failed to supervise her daughter who walked down the main road.
They said that the victim’s father was shocked when he learned that his daughter was killed in an accident.
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST