Mum's tragic goodbye: 'Love you so much'
THE family of a five-year-old-girl hit by a truck as she got off her school bus in front of her mother and sister said their little girl was in "a better place".
Mariasusanna Vaafusuaga, known as Sana to her tight-knit Samoan-Australian family, loved her days in kindergarten at Tacoma Public School but it was her first day back after Easter which claimed her life yesterday.
She and big sister Philomena were crossing Wolseley Ave, Rocky Point when Sana was hit by the large flat-bed truck and died on the scene.
Her stunned mother Salafai Loimata was waiting across the road to collect her girls as she would every afternoon.
"We have faith in Jesus Christ so we believe she is in a better place," her uncle Alan Jones said.
"She loved school ... She was only saying the other day she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up."
He said he felt both drivers of the school bus and the truck but feared deeply for Philomena and the other children who witnessed the accident.
"It was right in front of her unfortunately," he said.
"How do you get an image out of your head.
"(The truck driver) has to live with that for the rest of his life."
The girl's mother had been waiting at the home of another relative directly opposite the bus stop where she would collect her daughters and walk them a block away to their own home near the picturesque waterfront at Tuggerah Lake.
Both homes were empty this morning, just Sana's pink and white push bike was left in a front courtyard.
The girl's mother posted a photo of herself and a smiling Sana on social media this morning with the simple message "Love you so much".
Messages of support for the family including father Satui "James" Vaafusuaga have poured in online, many saying they miss the little girl's infectious smile.