14 Jun 2008

Solomon Islands girl dies after being hit by a car allegedly driven by RAMSI policeman

9:04 am on 14 June 2008

A Solomon Islands girl was killed last night after being struck by a vehicle allegedly driven by a police officer with the Regional Assistance Mission, or RAMSI.

The Samoan officer, one of two RAMSI personnel in the car, is believed to have been drunk.

The girl died instantly when struck by the car.

The driver was not injured but clearly under the influence of liquor, while his passenger was rushed to the Honiara public hospital with chest injuries and remains in a critical state.

Angry relatives of the dead girl gathered outside and inside the hospital, leading to a tense stand-off with RAMSI personnel who arrived on the scene to escort the injured officer to the base hospital.

Our correspondent says the accident could not have come at a worst time for RAMSI with the immunity laws protecting its personnel being put under the parliamentary microscope.

It remains unclear if the officer will face charges under Solomon Islands law.