BY GERRY LEE GORIT
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Twelve people were killed when a truck filled with passengers figured in a road accident in a town in Misamis Oriental Wednesday morning (Jan. 12), authorities said.
According to the police, the truck came from the municipality of Claveria and was on its way to neighboring Lagonglong town when the accident occurred in Balingasag.
Staff Master Sgt. Rogel Pabatao, investigator at the Balingasag municipal police station, said the driver, a certain Junryl Cagmat, told responders that the Mitsubishi Canter truck he was driving lost its brake in Sitio Bag-ay, Barangay Baliwagan in Balingasag at around 9:30 in the morning.
Killed on the spot, Pabatao said, were Elizabeth Bagabaldo, Allan Cadenas, Joseph Dallanta, Edelberto Albios, Niño Linas, Cristina Cadenas, Susan Dallanta, Loling Sinag-od, and Stella Mae Maraon.
According to the driver, the Canter lost its brake causing the truck to ram into a pile of concrete blocks, Pabatao said.
He added the impact of the crash had thrown out several of the passengers, nine of whom died on the spot.
Pabatao said Bagabaldo’s body was pinned to a tree, while Maraon was still alive when she was brought to a hospital, but was later declared dead by attending physicians at the Misamis Oriental Provincial Hospital-Balingasag due to loss of blood.
None of the children on board the truck died from the accident although they suffered from injuries, Pabatao said.
Pabatao said most of the passengers have fractured bones.
Those who sustained various levels of injuries were Elbert Llanasa, 33, married; Simo Cape,58, single; Jesse Ferrer, 31, married; Jaime Opaon, 54, widower; Mitchel Daguiom, 25, married; Christian Odchigue, 24, married; Nora Odchigue, 52, married; Christian Sinag-od, 17; Joems Roy Yamba, 2; Rheamae Sevilla, 18; Rafael Quijada, 6; Joemico Sevilla, 18; Jecer James Labide, 12; Myrehijhae Suntaco, 11; Nina Jane Odchigue, 4; Rogendi Sinag-od, 10; Sander Mendoza, 6.
All of the victims are from Sitio Impakibel, Barangay Aposkahoy in Claveria.
In a separate interview, Maj. Teodoro de Oro, Balingasag municipal police station chief, said the truck’s driver had to stop at Barangay Linabo, a few kilometers from Baliwagan, to check on the vehicle before proceeding.
De Oro said the driver could be facing several charges, including reckless imprudence resulting to multiple homicide, multiple serious physical injuries, and damage to property.
“If the families of the victims want to file cases against the driver, they can do so,” he added.