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Old 18-02-2004, 03:37 PM
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Fatal Crash – Friday 13th - named the city’s worst accident

By Alison Anis

It was Friday 13th, February, just a day before Valentine’s Day on Saturday. At around 3pm 27 passengers left Port Moresby and traveled by road on loaded PMV truck heading towards Sogeri.

In the middle of steep highway, somewhere near the Rouna 2 power station on the supposedly perilous snake road, and at around 4pm happened a fatal calamity – the nation’s worst nightmare. The 27 people who were in the hands of the driver met their fate when the engine of the flat back PMV truck failed causing the truck to roll back and overturned, then plummeted down the steep hill only to land some 20 meters down the road. It was a fatal crash! The nation’s worst terrifying accident.

13 people died on the spot, 8 were severely injured, and a few had either suffered minor injuries or have escaped unhurt. The rescue team was notified by a passing vehicle that witnessed the incident. Mothers who held their babies in their hands and their children, and husbands sitting by their side had all suffered or died.

Five people were confirmed dead on arrival at the Port Moresby General Hospital bringing the death toll to 18 on Friday night. On Saturday, Valentine’s Day, three more died, including a mother of a three-month old baby thus bringing the number of deaths to 21. There are six survivors to date, four of which are admitted at the hospital for minor injuries and two who miraculously escaped unhurt with barely a scratch.

Three-months old Roger who comes from a Koiari family. Roger's mother was on Life Support when she passed away on Saturday. Roger and her Mother's small sister, Maiva survived the crash
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Old 18-02-2004, 03:45 PM
***aCe*** ***aCe*** is offline
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Yes, and while the rest of the world were celebrating Valentine's Day on this day, about 13 families were mourning their loved ones.

Three-month old Roger and his small aunt, Maiva Peni, were among the group of passengers traveling on the PMV on Friday. Today, baby Roger and 14-year old Maiva are among the group of survivors who witnessed the horror of the accident.

Roger has suffered fractured bone on his right arm and on both his legs. On his hospital bed he lies in the same position on his back with the fractured arm covered with bandage and his band-aid legs up in the air and looking so helpless. Aunt Maiva is one of those who miraculously escaped with only minor scratches on her right leg.

As he cries gritting his teeth in pain, Maiva sits quietly by his bedside and in her quiet voice tries to comfort him as much as she can. Roger’s mother passed away on Saturday night while fighting for her life in the hospital and grandmother was among those who died at the scene of the accident.
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Old 18-02-2004, 03:52 PM
***aCe*** ***aCe*** is offline
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Maiva tells her story of the horror accident of Friday:

“I was sitting between my mother and my big sister Roger’s mother. Our mother was holding onto Roger when the accident happened. After that I didn’t know what happened. I can’t remember much of what was happening until the truck landed on the foot of the hill.” Maiva recalls.

Mavai said when the accident happened, Roger’s grandmother fought hard to keep him from being injured, cuddling the three-month old safely in her arms. She thinks this caused her, her mother’s death as she thought about saving the little boy and not herself.

Maiva said while everyone else were panicking and holding onto the iron rails while she sat still and it wasn’t until the truck landed on the foot of the hill that she realized she was still sitting.

“That is when I got up and realize that something terrible was happening. I couldn’t see mum and not even my big sister anywhere but I saw others with us lying on the side of the road. Others were hanging on the side of the mountain,” Maiva said slowly.

Ends…


Survivor Maiva Peni sit by Roger at his hospital bed. She escape with just a scratch on her left thigh
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