Jail Term for Driver of Heavy Load Vehicle that Tragically Killed 14 Year Old Boy on Roadside at Vaoala

Rudolf Nauer pleaded guilty to negligent driving causing death and did not hold a license to drive heavy load vehicles.

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March 2021, the scene of the tragic accident that claimed the life of a 14 year old Avele College student. Photo 📸 Vaai Nah Folasa.

Translated from the files of FaaSamoa. The driver of a heavy load truck carrying an excavator that veered off the road at Vaoala in March 2021 killing an innocent bystander, has been handed a jail term of two years and eight months.

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Rudolf Nauer pleaded guilty to negligent driving causing death. He was found to have not held a license to drive heavy load vehicles, and the truck he was driving was also an unlicensed vehicle.

As reported at the time, a 14 year old Avele College student waiting on the main road for his siblings after school was tragically killed when the truck driven by Nauer heading downhill lost control and crashed into the brick wall on the side of the road.

March 2021, FESA responds to the tragic accident that killed a 14 year old boy. Photo 📸 Vaai Nah Folasa.

At the time, Fire and Emergency Services Authority Commissioner, Tanuvasa Petone Mauga said the accident happened at the place where there is a bend on the main road, opposite the LDS Church at Vaoala.

“The 14 year old’s injuries were quite severe and he had died at the scene of the accident.”

At the time, the FESA Commissioner had warned drivers coming downhill about that bend opposite the LDS Church at Vaoala.

The Fire and Emergency Services road rescue team had to cut through the front of the truck, and the door, to get to the driver. He was taken to Motootua with serious injuries.

“The passenger managed to get himself out but the driver’s legs were stuck”.

This week Nauer was sentenced in the Supreme Court of Samoa by Justice Niava Mata Tuatagaloa.

The starting point for sentencing was five years.

The Court noted the defendant had a previous conviction for manslaughter and took into the account Nauer’s early guilty plea.

The Court also noted that traditional ifoga seeking forgiveness of the boy’s parents and family had been carried out by the defendants family, with a gift of $18,000 tala for funeral costs and expenses.

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