Tongan missionaries believe change of plan saved them from fatal Taupo crash

    'Oku 'i lalo 'i he ongoongo fakapālangí ni ʻa hono fakamatala ʻi he lea faka-Tongá

    Tongan missionaries who drove to Hastings in New Zealand believe a change of plan to refill their vehicle after their Sunday service saved them from a fatal crash near Taupo

    Stewart James Niwa Vercoe, 43, of Hastings died in a crash on State Highway 5, Te Haroto, at about 4:20pm on Sunday, Police said.

    Emergencies services, including a rescue helicopter, were called to the scene.

    “Two other people were also taken to hospital in a critical condition. A further two people have moderate injuries”, Police said.

    Nāmoe Sau Vea’ila, her husband Rev. Viliami Sēlupe Vea’ila, Hala’api’api Langoia, the Chief Church Steward of ‘Ōtahuhu Free Wesleyan Church and his wife Senita and the driver, who was also a church steward, travelled from South Auckland to Hastings to lead a prayer service there.

    While in Hastings they agreed that Nāmoe and Senita would go to the petrol station and refill their vehicle before the services began, so they could leave for Auckland straight after the service.

    However, Nāmoe changed the plan and said they could refill the vehicle on their way back.

    On their return to Auckland they watched in horror as an oncoming vehicle was involved in a collision with another vehicle in front of them.

    Nāmoe said the crash occurred “about six cars from us”.

    She said they prayed and thanked God, believing they were the ones who might have been involved in the collision if they had gone ahead with their plan to refill their vehicle early.

    Nāmoe said she was really shocked immediately after the crash.

    They tried to call their families in Auckland to inform them that they were safe, but there was no network in the area.

    She said they met some Tongan travellers near the scene while they were waiting for the road to be cleared.

    Vercoe’s death brought the region’s road toll, from Wairoa to Tararua, up to 16; three more than the total number of fatalities for the region last year.

    The main points

    • Tongan missionaries who drove to Hastings in New Zealand believe a change of plan to refill their vehicles after their Sunday service saved them from a fatal crash near Taupo
    • Stewart James Niwa Vercoe, 43, of Hastings died in a crash on State Highway 5, Te Haroto, at about 4:20pm on Sunday Police said.
    • Namoe Vea’ila said the crash occurred “about six cars from us.”

    1 COMMENT

    1. Naʻe tui ha kau misinale Tonga ne fononga ki Hastings ʻi Nuʻu Sila ko hano liliu e palani ke ʻutu ʻenau meʻalelé hili ʻenau malanga he Sāpaté ne nau hao ai ʻi ha fepaki ʻo mate ofi ki Taupo.

      Naʻe mate ʻa Stewart James Niwa Vercoe, 43, ʻo Hastings ʻi ha fepaki ʻi he State Highway 5, Te Haroto, ofi ki he taimi 4.20pm ʻi he Sāpate, ko e lau ia ʻa e kau Polisí.

      Naʻe ʻi he feituʻú ʻo e fakatamakí ni e ngaahi sēvesi fakavavevavé kau ai ha helikopeta fakahaofi moʻui.

      Ne ʻave ki fale mahaki mo ha tokoua kehe ne na lavea lahi. Ne toe ʻi ai mo ha toe toko ua ne lavelavea, ko e lau ia ʻa e kau Polisí.

      Naʻe fononga atu ʻa Nāmoe Veaʻila mo hono husepānití Faifekau Viliami Sēlupe Veaʻila, Sētuata Lahi ʻo e Siasi Uēsiliana Vāhenga ʻOtahuhú Halaʻapiʻapi Langaʻoi mo hono hoá Senita kae pehē ki he fakaʻuli ko ha setuata pe mo ia ke malanga ʻa Viliami ʻi he Uēsiliana ʻi Hastings.

      Lolotonga ʻenau ʻi Hastings ne nau felotoi ke ō ʻa Nāmoe mo Senita ʻo ʻutu ʻenau meʻalelé ki muʻa he malangá koeʻuhī ke tukú pe pea nau mavahe mai ai pe ʻo fononga ki ʻAokalani.

      Kaekehe ne liliu ia ʻe Nāmoe ʻa e palani ko ʻeni mo pehē ke nau toki afe pe ʻo ʻutu e meʻalelé heʻenau fokí.

      ʻI heʻenau liu ki ʻAokalaní ne nau tuʻu ai ʻo mamata he fakailifia ʻo ha fepaki ʻa ha meʻalele ne fononga mai mo ha toe meʻalele ʻe taha ʻi muʻa ʻia kinautolu.

      Pehē ʻe Nāmoé ne hoko tonu ʻa e fepakí fakafuofua ki ha meʻalele ʻe 6 meia kinautolu.

      Ne ne pehē ne nau lotu fakafetaʻi ki he ʻOtuá heʻenau tui ko kinautolu ne nau mei fepaki ko ʻení ka ne taʻunga ʻenau afe ʻo ʻutu he pausá.

      Pehē ʻe Nāmoe ne ne fuʻu manavahē ʻaupito he hoko ʻa e meʻá ni. Ne nau feinga ke fetuʻutaki ki honau fāmilí ki ʻAokalani ke fakahā ʻoku nau hao pē ka ne ʻikai ha netiueka he feituʻú ni.

      Naʻá ne pehē foki lolotonga ʻenau tatali ke fakaʻatā e halá ne nau fetaulaki ai mo ha kakai Tonga kehe ne nau fononga atu feʻunga tonu mo e fakatamakí ni.

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