7 dead, 24 hurt in Cebu road mishap

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Thursday, April 10, 2014


CEBU (Updated) - A truck carrying traders and 19 animals crashed into a house in Barangay Guadalupe, Carcar City Thursday afternoon, killing seven people and wounding 24 others, including the driver.

Four cows also died in the accident.

The Fuso forward truck driven by Mario Famulagan, 58, lost its brake while negotiating a downhill curve in Sitio Mabugnaw, an accident-prone area.

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The truck (GDV-259) with 30 passengers came from the market day or tabo in Barangay Mantalongon, Barili when it slammed into a concrete fence and hit a house before falling on its side. It was on its way to Argao town.

SPO1 Eduardo Bagol, traffic investigator of Carcar City Police Station, said five people on board the truck were killed on the spot.

Blind curve
BLIND CURVE. A truck, carrying 31 people and 19 animals, crashes into a concrete house (top) in Barangay Guadalupe, Carcar City. The impact caused some of the passengers to be thrown off from the truck and smashed against the wall of the house. Blood splattered on the walls. (Amper Campaña/Sun.Star Cebu)


They were identified as Nickson Albite, Wenceslao Famulagan, Agustin Alcain Sr., Yoyoy Barlaan and Cristita Davin.

Daniel Marson and other wounded passengers were brought to Carcar City District Hospital for treatment, but Marson died 10 minutes after reaching the hospital.

Jovencio Daven and other passengers were transferred to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City, but he didn’t make it alive.

Dr. Nicanor Duarte, the attending doctor in Carcar hospital, said the fatalities suffered head trauma with massive blood loss. Most of the passengers rode on top of the truck.

Initial investigation showed that the accident was caused by a mechanical failure. The truck’s brake malfunctioned while the group was heading home.

Most of the passengers are traders who sell livestock in Barangay Canbantug, Argao. Some of them are related, and some are their neighbors.

One survivor, 50-year-old Virgilio Mier, told Sun.Star Cebu that the driver already noticed that the brake was not working.

Mier, who was seated beside the driver, said they helped put brake fluid to fix the problem while the truck cruised down Sitio Mabugnaw. They were already some five kilometers away from Mantalongon.

“Sige siya og tamak pero dili naman mokaw-it (He kept stepping on the brakes but it won’t stop),” he said. Then the accident happened.

Some passengers who were sitting on the railings of the truck were thrown off, landing in the house of Zacharias Barcenas, 69.

Two fell on the kitchen table while others hit the wall. The animals were pinned when the truck fell on its side.

Hospitals

Residents immediately came to their rescue and called for help. The passengers were brought to Carcar City District Hospital and were later transferred to VSMMC for further treatment.

Most of the victims sustained multiple physical injuries and fractures. Hospital ambulances from Argao, Carcar and Sibonga helped transport 18 victims to VSMMC.

They were driver Famulagan, Medarda Malinog, Joelito Herberola, Mamerto Famulagan, Patrocinio Famulagan, Randy Mier, Candido Mier, George Malinao, Felix Villarmente, Fermin Sarcauga, Francisco Banadas, Pedro Jabagat, Ronie Quinones, Pedro Pamat and Jovencio Davin, who died later.

Ten of the victims were treated at the out-patient department. They were Jelyn Malinog, Hitomie Famulagan, Virgilio Mier, Jayniel Albeos, Felix Sapotera, Roger Oyangoren, Teodoro Mabasa, Felix Pamat, Junior Lonzaga and Nigel Nacua.

The youngest of the victims, 14-year-old Jelyn Malinog, managed to walk out of the trauma center although she had difficulty walking.

Recall

She recalled that their ride home started at an average speed. “Natingala mi kay nagkadugay nagkakusog man ang trak, way break-break (We were surprised when the driver drove faster),” she said.

Jelyn said she fainted the moment the truck crashed into the house. When she woke up, she felt pain on her back and saw that a heavy animal was on top of her.

She got scared when she heard from the people around her that five of her companions died. She got more scared when she saw familiar faces lying on the roof of the house.

“Basin ba nangatagak sila pagtuwad (They might have fallen when the truck overturned),” she said.

She was with her mother, Medarda, 51, at the time of the accident.

Hitch a ride

They went to Mantalongon to sell hogs and decided to hitch a ride with Famulagan to go home to Cancainap, Argao.

Jelyn said she had only five companions, together with the animals, inside the truck. Most of the passengers were on the roof of the truck.

In an interview in Carcar, Albeos told Sun.Star Cebu that they left Argao at 3 a.m. and arrived at the market in Mantalongon past 8 a.m.

“Lipay na ta kaayo mi kay nahalin among baka unya nadisgrasya hinuon (We were happy we sold our cow, only to find ourselves in an accident), “ he said. The cow was sold for P12,000.

Market day

Some of the victims went to Mantalongon to sell their animals while others bought livestock.

They were carrying 19 animals. Seven cows, two carabaos, two hogs and four goats survived while four cows died.

Barcenas said it was the third time that an accident happened in his house, but Thursday’s accident was the worst.

He has been living with his family in the house near a cliff for three decades now. Barcenas recalled that he was sleeping inside his room when his house shook, then he heard a loud crash.

Already frail and suffering from paralysis, he quickly got up and went out of the room. He was shocked to see bloodied men inside his house.

“Naghuot akong dughan pag-una. Pwerte nakong kuyawa (I was so scared that I could not breathe),” he said. His daughter Raquel, 39, had to calm him down.

Past incidents

In the 1980s, a truck carrying softdrink bottles almost hit his house, which was made of light materials then, and fell into the cliff.

Several years later, another truck hit a part of his house. No one in the family got injured.

“Swerte lang gyud mi kay kapila nami mabanggai pero wala gyud mi naunsa (We’re lucky that even after all those accidents, we were not hurt),” he said.

The damaged concrete fence, he said, is worth more than P50,000. The house, on the other hand, took many years to finish, which the family built using proceeds of their business selling landang or palm flour.

The police is now preparing a complaint against the driver for reckless imprudence resulting to multiple homicide, multiple physical injuries and damage to properties.

Accident-prone

Bagol, the traffic investigator, said that Sitio Mabugnaw has been described as accident-prone. The stretch has several curves, he said, but there are enough safety warnings along the road.

“Hinay-hinay lang gyud dapat og padagan kay kuyaw ni diri (Motorists should drive slowly because it’s risky here),” he said. (with Daryl Niño T. Jabil, Cebu Normal University intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 11, 2014.

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