‘I still could not accept he is gone’

Olivia Lele (holding phone), wife of Ledua Bulutani and their sons Asaeli Bulutani, 17, Robert Bulutani, 12, Jone Bulatani (front left), 5, and Ledua Bulatani Jr, 8, mourn the death of their father and husband at their home in Namadi Heights, Suva. Picture: ATU RASEA

The last words Ledua Bulutani said to his wife Olivia Lele was “wait here, I will be back soon”.

The mother of five would never hear from her husband again.

Mr Bulutani and his 62-year-old mother died in a freak accident when the car they were travelling in veered off the road and tumbled down a steep embankment off Princes Rd near Tacirua Settlement on Sunday.

Ms Lele said her husband and her aunt were on their way back from Nakasi with three others when the incident took place.

She said what began as a normal Sunday for the family turned into a tragedy that she would never be able to get over.

“We attended a church service in the morning and he dropped me and the kids home,” she said. “He just told us to wait and said he would be back soon.

“When I received the call a bit later, I knew something was wrong.

“We rushed to the accident scene and when I saw fire trucks around, I prayed, hoping he was okay.

“I saw my aunt first, she was lying motionless and then I asked for the driver and bystanders told me that they were trying to get his body out of the car.

“I just didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t stop crying.”

Ms Lele said she still could not accept her husband was gone because it was so sudden and unexpected.

“I would have accepted it if he was sick but nothing was wrong with him.”

She described her husband and her aunt as cheerful and loving people.

Ms Lele said her five sons have been a tower of strength.

“Whenever they see me crying, they would walk up to me and tell me not to cry because I have them and that they would look after me.”

Police said the national road death toll now stood at 22 compared with 38 for the same period last year.

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