Funeral for couple devoted to their community
Ram Deo and Padmawati Deo, who were killed in the car crash near Holbrook on Boxing Day. Photo: Supplied
The Fijian couple killed in a Boxing Day accident on the Hume Highway will be cremated on Friday following Hindu prayers and rituals at their son's Canberra home.
The funeral of Fijian community leaders Ram and Padmawati Deo is planned for 1pm at the Mitchell crematorium.
A large number of mourners are expected to attend from interstate and overseas.
Emergency workers at the scene of the accident near Holbrook on Boxing Day. Photo: David Thorpe
Ram and Padmawati's son, Rad Deo, said there had been a great outpouring of sympathy from Fiji, in particular Labasa, where the couple was originally from.
He knew from a close relative that mourners in the couple's home town were agitating to know what had happened. ''It's very hard to move around town because everyone comes up and asks,'' he said.
Mr Deo recalled how devoted to each other his parents had been. ''They loved each other very much and they were always together,'' he said. ''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.
Anav Deo, who was critically injured in the crash, is recovering in Canberra Hospital. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
''They were committed to serving the public and helping people.''
Mr Deo had been overwhelmed by the support he and his family had received from people around the world, he said.
''It's amazing, it's fantastic. I never believed it - that people could do so much at times like this.''
Rad Deo was driving his parents, his wife Lalita, and other members of the family to Melbourne on Boxing Day when their 4WD came off the road near Holbrook and rolled.
The accident left Ram and Padmawati's grandson, Anav Deo, critically injured. He had surgery to remove a blood clot and was doing well: ''He can recall everything.'' said Mr Deo.
Anav, 14, did not know his grandparents were dead until he was told on Sunday by his father.
''He took it well; I thought he would not be able to take it,'' Mr Deo said.
Anav needs further surgery for his arm where the flesh was cut. He requires skin grafts and will be recovering in Canberra Hospital for some time.
Mr Deo's mother-in-law, Bal Nagamma, suffered spinal injures in the accident. She has been put into an induced coma and will have her injured spine and neck operated on Monday in a Melbourne hospital.
His sister Rajini Kumar, who suffered less serious injuries, will be on crutches for six weeks.