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American Samoa gets 1st traffic death in 3 years

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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa>> American Samoa’s first traffic fatality in three years has claimed the life of a retired police commander.

According to court documents, 72-year-old Malele Forsythe was killed over the weekend while walking in a marked crosswalk.

Bus driver Reino Esera was charged Monday with homicide by vehicle. He told investigators he fell asleep behind the wheel. He is being held on $15,000 bail.

It’s not clear how fast the bus was traveling. The crash happened in an area with a 20 mph speed limit. The highest speed limit in the U.S. territory is 30 mph.

Traffic Division Police Capt. John Cendrowski tells Samoa News the island’s first traffic fatality in three years comes after public pleas for tired drivers to pull over and take a nap.

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