2006/07/09

Fate Is The Hunter

Last Wednesday night about 30 miles south of San Francisco in Menlo Park, California, an 18 year old woman (who had been issued her license only five months ago) was racing her Ford Mustang against a Cadillac Escalade along Highway 101 at speeds of 85 to 100 mph (136 to 160 kph). While trying to pass the Cadillac on the right, the Mustang sideswiped a Ford Explorer causing it to careen out of control and flip over several times killing the three occupants of that vehicle. The driver of the Mustang was unharmed and is being held on $300,000 bail on charges of manslaughter.

One might skim over such news such as part of the "normal" everyday carnage of America's highways where around 43,000 people are killed and 2.93 million people are injured every year. In fact, in the USA, car crashes are the leading cause of death for ages 3 through 33. (And you thought war was hell).

This case is different, however, as the people killed in the Explorer were Prince Tu'ipelehake and his wife Princess Kaimana of the Kingdom of Tonga along with their driver.

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Prince Tu'ipelehake and his wife Princess Kaimana


Regular readers of this blog know I don't get very excited over the fates of royalty. Again, this case is an exception. You see, in Tonga the 88 year old King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, appoints most of the politicians. Only a minority of the parliament are elected. Prince Tu'ipelehake (a nephew of the king) was the leading reformist in the royal family. He was head of a national committee formed just a year ago to study democratic reforms for the kingdom, and was in California to meet with expatriates there on the last leg of the group’s public consultations.

The royal family has come under sharp criticism in the last several years with charges which include drug running and corruption. The pressure for reform has been stepped up especially by expatriates in the USA and New Zealand who send large amounts of funds to to their families in Tonga. The reform group headed by Tu'ipelehake has the endorsement of the king by the way, as the government recognizes the need for reforms to move the country forward, provide more opportunity at home and stem the flow of Tongans moving abroad (and I am sure, to keep the money flowing in).

In the wake of this tragedy, I am sure the people of Tonga will move ahead with even greater resolve to make their country a better place, but how sad that such a senseless accident will impact an entire nation. One can wonder why it was their car that was struck. Why does a tornado level one house and leave another standing? There are too many variables to calculate such things. I don't know. In such cases as this, fate is the hunter.

7 comments:

Robin said...

Whether it is Fate or not, this is indeed a strange happening..

How can this happen?

Karma? or just shear chance?

Cal the Wonderdog said...

The hunter lives on the path. We must complete the story with love and in life.

Cal

The Moody Minstrel said...

A sad testimony to the sheer stupidity of so many young people and the waste that goes hand in hand with it...

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

I read this a few days ago and what a tragedy. This couple were really trying to improve the life of the people of Tonga against the difficulties of tradition, the expectation of respect for royalty, and the manipulation that occurs with a hierarchical system. Isa lei, it's very sad.
But, accidents do happen. We can only take such things and learn from them.

Pandabonium said...

Thanks for all your comments. Life goes on - despite the odds.

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FH2O said...

The mystery and uncertainty of life.