Overloaded jeepney in Abra tumbles; 5 killed-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
AN OVERLOADED passenger jeepney bound for Licuan-Baay, Abra province turned turtle Saturday evening resulting to the death of at least five people.
A passenger jeepney (AYG 368) turned turtle around 6:05 p.m. on February 8 along the municipal road at Sitio Galitungan in Barangay Nalbuan killing five people identified as Melba Millare, Slomen Colangan, Veronica Tucio, Noreen Tugadi and Dimple Tugadi.
The five passengers were declared dead while undergoing treatment at the Abra Provincial Hospital.
Meantime, nine passengers were taken to Abra Christian Hospital and eight others were brought to Seares Memorial Hospital for medical treatment.
Police identified the driver of the vehicle as Victor Gallotan Pacio, 44, of Barangay Mapisla, Licuan-Baay.
Investigation conducted by Licuan-Baay municipal police disclosed the passenger jeepney carrying 54 passengers came from Sitio Baquero, Barangay Nalbuan in Licuan-Baay after attending a meeting of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Pantawid Pamilya meeting and was negotiating a sharp curve portion of the road when its brake allegedly malfunctioned and fell into a one meter deep canal with strong impact.
Department of Transportation and Communication Regional Director Celina Claver said they have dispatched a team of investigators from the Land Transportation Office to further probe on the accident.
This as she stressed overloading of passengers especially in interior towns in the Cordillera regions has been common in the past decades.
Cordillera PNP spokesman Supt. Davy Limmong said a normal jeepney should only carry at least 24 passengers as in the case of the jeep in Abra, it carried more than double its capacity with 54 passengers with some passengers riding top load on the roof of the vehicle.
Limmong said brakes usually have a certain capacity of passenger load before giving in to pressure of road travel but this has been ignored most of the time in highland towns in the Cordillera where there are no traffic enforcers in hard to reach roads in the interior.
A possible case of reckless imprudence resulting to multiple homicides will be slapped by the local police to the jeepney driver.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 12, 2014.