Crash kills contract worker

Tuesday December 18, 2018 Written by Published in Crime
Cook Islands Road Safety Council president Brent Fisher is calling on police to crack down on drink drivers. 18121749 Cook Islands Road Safety Council president Brent Fisher is calling on police to crack down on drink drivers. 18121749

The road death toll on Rarotonga has increased to six following a fatal crash involving a foreign worker over the weekend.

A 42-year-old Samoan man died in the early hours of Sunday after the motorbike he was driving collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction.

The accident happened on the main road at Avatiu Harbour, near a popular takeaway eatery.

Police spokesperson Trevor Pitt said officers received a call about the crash at 2am.

Pitt said the man was riding towards Panama from the roundabout when his bike struck the right front corner of the car.

He said police were now communicating with authorities in Samoa. 

“He (the deceased) was in the Cook Islands working for a local company,” Pitt added.

Police officers were at the scene on Sunday morning to complete investigation details and a coroner’s report was expected to be undertaken yesterday.

“The tragedy of another road fatality is bringing 2018 to a very sad conclusion as motor vehicle crashes continue a path towards a record high,” Pitt said.

About two weeks ago, a 38-year-old tourist visiting Rarotonga, died after a motorcycle crash at the seawall in Nikao. The accident took place on a Sunday morning.

Police said speed was a “significant factor” in that accident, however, they have not revealed the cause of the latest fatality.

With the island coming into the festive season, the Cook Islands Road Safety Council is urging people to take extra care while using the road.

Council president Brent Fisher is also calling on police to be vigilant and to clamp down on drink driving cases.

“I guess no one goes drinking thinking they will kill somebody, but please when you are out drinking, make sure you don’t drive. You can call a friend or have a designated driver prepared before you go out,” Fisher said.

“Binge drinking is a problem here and it affects people’s families, marriages, relationships, and other things.

“The Cook Islands Road Safety Council is calling on police to be very vigilant and to go to the bars and stop (them) from serving drunk people. The law is already there, they just have to enforce it.”

Fisher said road conditions in some areas also posed potential risks for motorists.

“The condition of our roads is very dangerous, there are loose gravel on the corners, no road markers and no centre line.

“The government has failed miserably to improve the standard of our roads and you have to drive with extra caution to avoid any mishap.”

Fisher also warned against children and adults riding in the back of pickup trucks, saying the onus was on drivers to  ensure passengers were safe.

“They are supposed to be seated inside the tray and not on the edges.

“Also the children must be secured when they are traveling in a car. There are baby seats available from Red Cross and on sale. It’s stupidity on part of drivers not to have their younger passengers secured. How hard is it to put the seat belt around your children?”

Meanwhile on behalf of the council, Fisher passed heartfelt condolences to the grieving family of the latest road fatality.

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