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Sione ʻUluvalu Ngū Takeivūlai Tukuʻaho (7 October 1950 — 5 July 2006 (6 July in Tonga)) became the Tuʻi Pelehake, an hereditary title in the kingdom of Tonga, after the death of his father in 1999.

As his father was the brother of King Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV, he had the right to carry the 'his royal highness' title as well. He had one younger brother and four sisters.

ʻUluvalu married late, 28 November 1998, with Kaimana Aleamotuʻa (12 March 1960 — 5 July 2006); the couple had no children. He became a parliamentarian, the Haʻapai representative of the nobles, but often backing the representatives of the people and the pro-democracy movement, many of whom felt he should succeed the ailing king. He was a leading pro-democracy advocate within the royal family. Radio New Zealand article Tuʻi Pelehake (ʻUluvalu) was dubbed the "prince of the people" by ordinary Tongans.

He died prematurely at age 55, along with his wife, 45, and driver, Vinisia Hefa, 36, in a car accident on Highway 101 in Menlo Park, California, near San Francisco, where he was meeting with Tongan citizens to discuss reforms.[1] Edith Delgado, 18, driving a Ford Mustang, allegedly caused the crash when her car struck the side of the red Ford Explorer that the royal couple were riding in. The Explorer lost control and rolled over several times, killing all inside. Delgado's car was reportedly speeding up to 100 mph (160 km/h) and was possibly racing other cars on the highway at the time. Though she was not hurt in the accident, she was arrested at the scene. [2] She plead not guilty at the first court hearing, but was jailed with a bail bond of $3 million. Attorneys for Delgado appealed the bond amount, which was 10 times larger than court guidelines suggested, and on September 11, 2006 the California Court of Appeal overturned the bail, finding there was no justification given in the original order for such a high amount, and ordered a new hearing September 13.[3] She was convicted of three counts of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in June and sentenced on 24 August 2007, to two years in county jail. She had faced a maximum of three years after being acquitted of more serious felony charges. But due to the year she already spent in county jail as well as for her good behavior as an inmate. She will probably spend another four to six months in jail, prosecutors said. In addition, she was ordered to pay restitution of an undetermined amount to the victims' families and serve three years of supervised probation. [4][5]

Notes and references

  1. ^ "U.S. car crash kills Tonga royals". CNN. 2006-07-06. Retrieved 2006-07-07.  
  2. ^ "Prince and princess of Tonga die in crash". San Mateo Daily Journal. Retrieved 2006-07-14.  
  3. ^ Marisa Largos (September 11, 2006). "Bail reduction ordered in crash that killed Tongan royals". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2006-09-11.  
  4. ^ San Bruno B.A.R.T
  5. ^ "Santa Clara County Superior Court Civil Action Number # 107CV087173". Retrieved 2008-07-30.   & "Teen sentenced for crash that killed Tongan Royals". Retrieved 2007-08-25.  
  • Tonga Chronicle newspaper, 3 August 2006


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