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Crash victims praised at funeral

Date

Lisa Cox

Mourners at the funeral of Fijians visting Canberra Ram and Padmawati Deo at the Deo family home in Chisholm.

Mourners at the funeral of Fijians visting Canberra Ram and Padmawati Deo at the Deo family home in Chisholm. Photo: Karleen Minney

Family members have laid to rest a Fijian couple killed in a Boxing Day accident on the Hume Highway.

About 60 mourners gathered at the home of Rad Deo, whose parents Ram and Padmawati Deo were killed last week when the 4WD they were travelling in came off the road near Holbrook and rolled.

Mr and Mrs Deo were remembered with traditional Hindu prayers at their son’s Tuggeranong home and relatives spoke lovingly of the pair, who were heavily involved in their local community in Labasa, Fiji.

Mourners at the funeral of Fijians visting Canberra Ram and Padmawati Deo at the Deo family home in Chishoolm, Canberra.

Mourners at the funeral of Fijians visting Canberra Ram and Padmawati Deo at the Deo family home in Chishoolm, Canberra. Photo: Karleen Minney

A larger crowd of relatives from Fiji, the United States, Canada and Australia said their final goodbyes at a second service in Mitchell before the couple’s cremation.

Rad Deo’s 14-year-old son Anav, who suffered head injuries in the smash, was able to leave Canberra Hospital to attend his grandparents’ funeral.

Albury Police are investigating the crash and said they were still taking statements to establish exactly what had happened and why.

Detective Acting-Sergeant Shane Robinson said the hospitalisation of witnesses had caused initial delays in the investigation and it was too early to say if they would be charging anyone over the double fatality.

Rad Deo was driving his parents, his wife Lalita, and other members of the family to Melbourne on Boxing Day when the car came off the road.

Mr Deo said last week he was unsure how the accident had occurred but remembered initially thinking that Anav had been killed.

His parents had been visiting Australia for the Christmas holidays.

They had five children and seven grandchildren and were dedicated to their community and their family.

The couple were both social workers and justices of the peace and Mr Deo snr had received a Queen's Birthday award, a certificate of honour and the Order of Fiji.

Mr Deo snr had celebrated his 70th birthday with family and friends just four days before the accident.

"They loved each other very much and they were always together," Rad Deo said earlier this week.

"God has them and put them in the right place because they have done so much - so much for their kids and the community as a whole.

"They were committed to serving the public and helping people."

with Aisha Dow

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