Driver in custody after Tongan grandfather, child killed in US crash

A Tongan community in the US are in mourning after a crash in Arizona’s Chandler killed a Tongan man and his grandson.

Vaka To’oa Snr and Vaka ‘Isitolo To’oa Jnr killed in a crash in Arizona. Photo/Supplied.

Gage Kauffman was driving northbound on Dobson Road on December 20 at a high rate of speed, reported the ABC15.

Vaka To’oa Snr was driving another vehicle that was entering Dobson Road at Shawnee Drive. Kauffman’s vehicle crashed into Vaka’s vehicle.

Vaka To’oa Snr of Houma, Tongatapu, Tonga but was residing in Arizona was reportedly ejected from the vehicle and died on December 30.

His grandson Vaka ‘Isitolo To’oa Jnr, a four-year-old boy, was also killed from injuries suffered in the crash.

The ABC15 report quoted a court document which said that Kauffman was driving over 100 miles per hour in a 45-mile-per-hour zone moments before the deadly crash

He faces two counts of reckless manslaughter, two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and two counts of endangerment.

The family of the victims have announced that the deceased will be laid to rest this Friday 13 US time.

One of Vaka To’oa Snr’s children and parent of the child posted a heartfelt message on Facebook after the deadly crash.

“My son Vaka Isitolo Tooa Jr & my dad Vaka Tooa Sr, were involved in a really bad car accident”, the post read.

“The vehicle that hit them was speeding so fast, they hit my dad’s car & all passengers in both vehicles were injured in some way or form”.

“God gives & He takes. He is loving & merciful. My dad always taught us His word & truth will always carry us thru whatever was holding us up or weighing us down. My sister Fa said it best, May He lead us this year”.

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