Live, love, cherish each moment

“Live, love, cherish each and every moment you have with the ones you love, for you may never know what tomorrow brings and it may be their or your last days,” was the plea from Leeann Lam Yuen-Elia, who is still trying to come to terms with the passing of her husband, Iosefa “Sefa” Elia.

An employee of Manu’a’s. and the second to the oldest of 12 siblings, Sefa died on the scene when there was an electrocution accident at the Manu’a’s Store’s location at the Tafuna industrial park, and six people were said to be injured, with three dying as a result of their injuries.

(Samoa News notes there is an unconfirmed report that the number of injured was 12, which includes the three men who died from their injuries.)

Mrs. Elia told Samoa News yesterday that her husband was one of a kind — “he was a patient man, had an awesome sense of humor and he was everything to me.”

They met through mutual friends in 2012 and they tied the knot in 2014. It was in August 2016 they found out they were expecting. Fighting back her tears, Mrs. Elia said, “My husband was overjoyed when we found out we were expecting a baby and that changed our lives, our unborn child was the center of everything, especially him, who wanted so bad to hold his son right then and there... that’s the hardest part because he was so looking forward to seeing our son.” She said they had plans to move off island at one time, but that didn't happen.

Son of Sui and Peato Elia of Aua, Sefa 26 was a football player while attending Fagaitua High School “Home of the Vikings”. He was an athlete during his high school years, said Mrs. Elia.

Leeann said it never crossed her mind that day, Saturday, Jan. 14, was her husband’s last day and she still in shock about it.

According to Mrs. Elia, she has not taken leave yet from work as she’s keeping herself occupied. “I’m overwhelmed with the support from my family, friends, my colleagues, House Speaker (Savali Talavou Ale), lawmakers, my husband’s classmates, Father Sefo and our Catechist at our parish in A’asu. Thanks for the love and prayers.”

Mrs. Elia was accompanied by her sister and father during the interview at Samoa News and was unable to discuss anything regarding her husband’s funeral, noting that it’s the most painful thing to consider “his funeral arrangements.”

She also did not wish to comment on the incident, as she was there when they were trying to resuscitate her husband before heading to the hospital.

Mrs. Elia also confirmed with Samoa News that their family has since retained an attorney, Sharron Rancourt; and, that one of the owner’s of Manu’a’s Store, Mrs. Jane Chen has reached out to her and the Chen family visited her husband’s family in Aua last week.

Spokesperson for the Chen Family, Ben Sauvao told Samoa News last week that they are trying to reach out to the families of their employees who were affected in this unfortunate event.

Meanwhile efforts to get a comment from the owner of Asian Pacific Engineering & Construction Services (APECS) Company in Malaeimi who was contracted by Manu’a’s Store for their crane services to build their warehouse has been unsuccessful. Unconfirmed reports say the crane operator was also injured during the electrocution incident.

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