7 Jul 2006

Former Prime Minister says Prince Tu'ipelehake's death a great loss for all of Tonga

3:24 pm on 7 July 2006

Tonga's former Prime Minister, Baron Vaea, has this afternoon officially announced on Radio Tonga Prince Tu'ipelehake and his wife, Princess Kaimana Tuku'aho, died in a road accident yesterday at Menlo Park in San Francisco..

Baron Vaea says their Royal Highnesses were on an official visit to the United States, as part of the public consultations among the Tongan community by the National Committee for political reforms.

Baron Vaea said the deaths are a great loss to the royal family, chiefly

traditional clans, members of the nobility and the people of Tonga.

Baron Vaea also said that an official announcement on the details of the

funeral arrangements would be made on completion of all necessary work

on the deceased in the US.

Meanwhile, American television says an 18 year old woman racing another vehicle clipped the Prince's SUV causing it to roll a number of times.