Truck falls; 3 killed

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

CEBU - A 10-wheeler cargo truck carrying sugarcane workers nose-dived into a ravine in Barangay Ilihan, Tabogon, Cebu early yesterday morning, killing three people and wounding 39 others, including a one-year-old girl.

Most of them were survivors of super typhoon Yolanda and had just resumed working as tapaseros at the start of December.

Two of the sugarcane workers—Juvelyn Puebla, 20, and Warren Cañas, 13—died on the spot. Leonardo Ybañez, 63, died in the ambulance while being rushed to the hospital.

PO3 Epifanio Comedido of Tabogon Police Station said the accident took place when the truck (GLC-261) driven by Juvy Pedrano, 27, got hit by another 10-wheeler truck.

The other truck (JCA-296) driven by Norman Monteron, 25, was trying to get past Pedrano’s vehicle when it met an oncoming motorcycle.

Monteron swerved his truck back to the right lane, but hit the other truck on its left bumper.

The impact pushed Pedrano’s truck down a ravine, which is estimated to be 15 meters deep. Both trucks were heading toward Bogo City.

Devina Comedya, 36, a resident of Barangay Ilihan, was having her breakfast when the accident unfolded in front of her.

“Nanglupad to ang mga pasahero naa sa likod (Passengers who sat at the back were thrown off),” she told Sun.Star Cebu. Cries and shouts of help came after.

Before the accident, she already noticed from afar the trucks were running fast; she recalled hearing Monteron honk his horn, apparently as a signal he would overtake.

Comedya said the victims’ truck reportedly didn’t yield. “Wala man nihatag ug lugar ang usa (He didn’t give way to the other truck),” she said.

When the truck fell, residents immediately pulled out the sugarcane workers. The victims were rushed to the hospitals in Sogod town and Bogo City.

Help elsewhere

Some 38 of the victims were rushed to Severo Verallo Memorial Hospital in Bogo City. One of them, Leonardo Ybañez, died upon reaching there.

The passengers who were injured were identified as Elena Tul-id, 53; Maelord Monares, 27; Marsing Binabay, 25; Bellano Tul-id, 60; Edna Ybañez, 59; Merlyna Masong, 51; Jeslie Tul-id, 18; Teressa Tuling, 46; Jonel Baron, 32; Eugene Sumayang, 23; Mcleo Amigable, 15; Jason Cogal, 23; Julie Ann Puebla, 16; Maria Billy Puebla, 39; Irene Moneset, 39; Rudy Moneset, 52; Ailesh Moneset, 3; Ralph Niño Moneset, 11; Mishelle Sumayang, 15; and Ryan Tuling, 18.

Gingging Amigable, 18; James Tuling, 10; Gelbert Cogal, 17; Benjie Tul-id, 17; Ruth Alburo, 21; Rena Eturma, 1; Ella Eturma, 2; Perla Abayon, 19; Danica Abayon, 17; Purie Abayon, 16; Juven Puebla, 22; Jhares Ybañez, 16; Violeta Ornopia, 55; Josseña Puebla, 16; Edgardo Escuña, 31; Ailene Montalvo, 16; and Loreto Manalele, 55, were also brought to the same hospital.

Nine of them have to be brought to Cebu City while others were transferred in Bogo-Medellin Medical Center.

In Juan B. Dosado Memorial Hospital in Sogod town, Nenita Garcia, 56, and her daughter Daylani Garcia, 30, received treatment.

Comedido, when interviewed at the police station, said most of the victims sustained bruises and bone fractures. They are residents of Caudawan, Managase, Mabuli and Ilihan.

Not drunk

He said the victims’ employer, who was identified as Manuel “Maning” Dy of Bogo City, assured he would shoulder the medical expenses.

Both drivers surrendered to police. Neither of them was under the influence of liquor. They also denied they were racing.

Comedido said they detained Monteron because the latter was the one who hit the other truck. Monteron may face charges of reckless imprudence resulting to multiple homicide and multiple physical injuries and damage to properties.

As of 9 p.m., the police investigator said the number of casualties and injured victims remained the same.

Monteron, when interviewed by Sun.Star Cebu, said he tried his best not to hit the other truck. “Di na man gyud mada. Wa sad ‘to nako tuyua (I couldn’t avoid it. I didn’t mean for that to happen),” he said.

Monteron came from Barangay Ilihan to transport cables needed to hold sugarcanes. He said he was driving fast because his pay depended on the number of times he could ferry the cables.

He yielded

“Mada ra nako ug 20 minutos gikan Tabogon padong sa Bogo City (It takes me 20 minutes to get from Tabogon to Bogo City),” he said. He has worked for another owner of sugarcane plantation for three years.

Monteron of Barangay Managase, Tabogon didn’t suffer any injuries and immediately went to the responding personnel, out of fear he would be mauled.

Pedrano, for his part, denied racing with Monteron. He said he didn’t even know the other driver.

Pedrano of Barangay Caduawan, Tabogon said he usually picked up the tapaseros as early as 7 a.m. and another driver would ferry the workers back to their homes.

“Dili ‘to nako sala kay gidasmagan ra gyud ko (It wasn’t fault. Another vehicle hit my truck),” he said.

One of the survivors, 53-year-old Elena Tul-id told Sun.Star Cebu they were supposed to get their weekly salary right after they were done with their work. Each tapasero is paid P70 per day.

“Makapalit nata mi ug para andam sa Christmas namo (We would have managed to buy something for Christmas),” she said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 22, 2013.

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