CAGAYAN DE ORO (Updated) -- Seven people were killed, including three children, and four others were badly injured in a tragic road mishap involving a six-wheeler truck, two motorcycles and a motorized tricycle along Cugman highway, Cagayan de Oro City, around 9 p.m. Sunday, April 9.
Authorities identified the victims as Ronnie Abrio, 46; and his children Kenneth Abrio, 10; Sophia Abrio, 5; Stephanie Abrio, 7; Mae Bonior, 17; Vanessa Tadlas, 29; and Vevine Nacaya, 23.
The four wounded were identified as Kristel Anne Moldez, 30; Runie Llubia, 44; Kent Felicilda, 27; and Kurt Angel Buhawe, 22.
The suspects, on the other hand, were identified as 30-year-old Freddie Talisayan and his older brother Felix Talisayan, 32, the truck driver and helper, respectively.
Chief Inspector Evan Viñas, police station 10 chief, said Freddie was drunk when he drove the truck from Tablon village toward the city center with a speed of 100 kilometers per hour.
Freddie had reportedly gotten into a petty spat with his drinking companions prior to the incident. He also scuffled with Felix who was trying to restrain him from driving.
“Buntag paingon sa gabii nga inom sagol long neck tanduay ug red horse ubay-ubay ang nahurot. Ni-volunteer ko sa manibela kay wala ko nag-inom pero nipuli man iya ko sumbagon dako pud siya sa ako (He was drinking a mix of long neck tanduay and red horse from morning until night. I asked him to let me drive since I didn’t drink but if I swap with him, he’ll punch me),” Felix said in an interview over the radio.
When Freddie took the steering wheel out of control, Felix said he was nearly tempted to jump out.
“Pero mamatay man ko kay kusog kaayo ang dagan migara pud siya dihang akong gibadlong (I was scared since he was driving so fast and he wouldn’t stop even if I told him to),” Felix said.
The truck bumped the motorcycle boarded by the Abrio, resulting in the victims' instantaneous death.
The suspect did not stop and instead accelerated the vehicle and collided with the "motorela" or a motor taxi driven by Felicilda some 50 meters from the first incident.
Bonior, Tadlas, Moldez and Llubia were on board the motorela.
The driver continued traversing the highway and later crashed into another motorcycle driven by Buhawe, with Nacaya as back-rider.
The victims were brought to different funeral homes after the incident.
The suspects, who were also injured, stopped at an ongoing road construction and attempted to escape but the police chased and arrested them.
Viñas said the suspects hailed from Davao del Norte but are presently staying here for work in Tablon village. The El Raro Farm Corporation that employed them provides the trucking service for Gama Foods Corporation in Tablon.
Viñas said the suspects will be charged with reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and multiple physical injury with damage to property.
The police chief will also recommend for a drug test to ascertain if the suspects were under the influence of illegal drugs during the incident.
“Dili kita makatoo nga ilimnon lang ang gitumar sa suspect busa ipa-examine nato sa illegal drugs (We don’t believe that the suspect is only drunk that’s why we let him be examined for illegal drugs),” Viñas said.
Freddie had asked the family of the victims for forgiveness but said the incident already happened.
Angry residents, meanwhile, mobbed the police station and yell at the suspects because of the incident.
(SunStar Cagayan de Oro)
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