A father of six from Tanna was killed in a road accident yesterday morning.
Peter Hiwa who is in his late 40’s was travelling with three others in a double cabin vehicle fully loaded with sand.
According to reports received the driver was trying to avoid a pothole and swerved to the drainage before overturning.
Police and Vila Central Hospital (VCH) confirmed the death, adding the driver and two other passengers were injured.
Emergency services were called to the scene at around 9 to 10am after the crash.
Police transported the deceased’s body to the morgue after attending the crash site but the relatives of the deceased have been advised not to remove the body yet because the case is still under investigation.
Police told Daily Post the body may be kept for the next few days for an autopsy.
They say the driver was a Chinese national whose name has been withheld for safety reasons yesterday, after tension among Tannese men resulted in a visit to see him the hospital where he was getting treated because he broke his arm and had some bruises on his left cheek.
He was supposed to be remanded yesterday and charged with careless driving causing dead, contrary to section 12 of Road Traffic Control Act [CAP 29].
The section carries a maximum penalty of five years.
Police say speed is likely the leading factor to the accident.
One of the passengers who survived the crash told Daily Post that he sat in the vehicle while the deceased and another worker were sitting on the sand in the back of the vehicle.
He confirmed that all three were working for the Chinese national who was driving.
After some hours at the VCH yesterday, he shared details of the traumatic accident with Daily Post.
“I didn’t think I was going to make it out alive after the truck narrowly missed the road and started rolling,” he said.
“There seemed to be loud noises everywhere. I bent over, expecting it to my last day but then realized that while the vehicle was upside down I was alive.”
He said a Hyundai bus then came and took them to the hospital, leaving the deceased unattended at the site of the crash as the people living around the area started moving there.
Sources at VCH said the condition of the other passenger who was with the deceased on the back of the vehicle has stabilized but he has permanent injuries on his face, forehead, legs and arms.
Reports alleged that he jumped before the vehicle turned over.
The late Hiwa is survived by his wife and six children.
The fatal accident happened some hours after a separate traffic accident at the intersection near Prouds Vanuatu shop in town.
The driver was reportedly driving under the influence of alcohol.
Police say the driver is still on the run and appeal to the public to assist in detaining the driver.