An elderly man, who had kava at the Chiefs Nakamal hoping to be part of the New Year celebrations at midnight on December 31, was instead taken to Vila Central Hospital following an alleged hit and run by a bus.

Michael Tabi, who was once the face of the kitchen of Vila Central Hospital and until last week was a smartly dressed cook at the Market House, became the sole victim of the festive season when he succumbed to his injuries two days ago.

Police said the driver was arrested after the incident and released on bail.

However after the victim’s death, police rearrested him and charged him with reckless driving causing death.

Sources from the Market House said the victim was under the influence of kava and was waiting to catch a bus to return to his house when he was hit by the bus. According to the sources, the driver switched off its lights and took off.

However a taxi that followed saw the injured man and drove after the bus without lights and apprehended the driver.

The victim was rushed to hospital but he could not survive his injuries.

A cook from the Market said she went to the mortuary to pay her last respects for the faithful cook and was among a large crowd that mourned his passing.

His untimely death is a wakeup call to all elderly kava drinkers to fill their bottles and drink their kava at home.

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