THE first day of the school year ended in tragedy for two high school students in Kindeng, Jiwaka Province.
A third student is seriously injured and in coma at Mt Hagen General Hospital.
The three, from Roalka Tribe of Dei district of Western Highlands Province, were walking to Anglimp Secondary School in Jiwaka Province yesterday morning when they were hit from the back by a speeding motor vehicle.
Grade 10 student Angra Simon and Grade 12 student Stanley Rangi died on the spot while Grade 10 student Junior Anton was rushed to hospital where he is fighting for his life.
According to eyewitnesses on the Highlands Highway in Kindeng, the vehicle, an open back Land-Cruiser, had gone off the road about a metre and hit the boys.
The tragedy came only days after four women were killed by a speeding bus in Togoba, outside Mt Hagen, last Thursday.
Roalka leader Samuel Rombil said the three boys were eagerly looking forward to the school year and had left their homes in Mugmamb across the Waghi River in Dei and had crossed into Anglimp-South Waghi when "reckless driving cut short two innocent young lives instantly".
The boys would have walked for two hours from their village to get to their school.
"The Roalka tribe is shocked. It’s a nightmare for the tribe to lose such lives.
"They would have contributed a lot in future had the driver of the vehicle drove at a reasonable speed. One man’s carelessness has destroyed a whole tribe," Mr Rombil said.
He said the students were all relatives from the same tribe and they were confused and shocked.
Four men, including the driver, abandoned their vehicle and fled along the highway towards Anglimp when chased by angry locals.
A police vehicle, believed to be Kudjip-based Highway Patrol, arrived in time to rescue the four and drive them to safety.
Mt Hagen Hospital medical staff said last night, the sole survivor has serious internal injuries. The bodies of his fellow students are at the hospital morgue.
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