Alleged Māngere Bridge murder victim ran ‘for her life’, jury hears

A fork hoist driver discovered his colleague’s lifeless body stuck to the tail of his 2006 Subaru – with her head under the bumper – after she was hit by a speeding driver in Auckland’s Māngere Bridge, a jury has heard.

Telea Toe rushed to avoid the speeding car, jumping into his driver’s seat before the car hit the back of his car, crushing Sagaia Kaisala in the middle, the High Court in Auckland heard.

Soafa Niumagumagu is on trial for murdering the 32-year-old Oji Fibre Solutions worker in the factory carpark on June 20, 2019.

The defendant is also charged with attempting to murder his ex-wife Puapuaga Matamua by stabbing her moments earlier, and hitting another Oji Fibre Solutions worker, Abdul Riyaz, who tried to chase the man away.

It’s the second week of his jury trial before Justice Mathew Downs.

“[The woman] was behind my car … her head was under my bumper, face down,” Toe told the courtroom.

A truck driver contracted to Oji Fibre Solutions, Jeffrey Goldfinch, told the jury factory workers were dispersing in different directions, hiding behind trees and buildings as the car travelled at “breakneck” speed towards the factory carpark.

He then saw the car move “aggressively towards” a woman, he said.

“I saw her running for her life towards the parked vehicles.

“The vehicle struck her into the tail of the car. She’s kind of hit the back window and roof of the car in front,” Goldfinch said while giving evidence.

Toe confirmed he checked for the woman’s pulse but could not find it.

Colleagues performed CPR on her before an ambulance arrived, the court heard.

She died at the scene.

The Crown alleges Kaisala had been helping her bleeding colleague Matamua, who was stabbed just minutes earlier by Niumagumagu, her former husband.

Last week the jury heard from Abdul Riyaz. He suffered serious injuries after allegedly being hit in the leg and thrown into the air by Niumagumagu’s car just moments before the car hit Kaisala.

His colleague, Leaso Fatuvalu, told the jury today she witnessed both Riyaz and Kaisala being hit by a car.

A tearful Fatuvalu claimed to see Matamua’s face full of blood while Kaisala helped her.

“I was scared because I also have a family … I was saddened that day,” she said, using a Samoan interpreter.

“I can’t express how I felt that day. I was scared.”

The Crown argues the violent string of events started when Niumagumagu stabbed his ex-wife Matamua after she ended their marriage for another man.

The trial continues.

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