2 more victims in Cebu road mishap die

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Saturday, April 12, 2014


TWO more passengers of the truck that crashed last Thursday into a concrete fence in Carcar City died yesterday in a Cebu City hospital.

PO1 Dennis Cabajar, traffic investigator of Carcar City Police Station, said Randy Mier and Junrick Alcasid of Barangay Canbantug, Argao died of multiple injuries while confined at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC).

This, as a complaint for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and multiple physical injuries was filed against 58-year-old Mario Famulagan, the driver of the Fuso Forward truck.

The accident also injured 24 people, including the truck driver, and killed four cows.

The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) promised to give medical and burial assistance to the victims of the accident.

Investigation

Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 Director Arnel Tancinco, on the other hand, said the LTO will investigate if Mario Famulagan was drunk during the accident.

The truck (license plate GDV-259) was carrying livestock from Barangay Mantalongon, Barili (not Mantalongon, Dalaguete) and was on its way to Argao. The truck’s brake system reportedly failed while the vehicle was negotiating a downhill curve.

Apart from livestock, the truck carried more than 30 people, some of whom were perched on the railings of the vehicle. Most of the truck’s passengers were livestock farmers.

Tancinco said some witnesses noticed that Mario and some passengers were being rowdy during the drive.

License

The LTO official sent some personnel to conduct a sobriety test on the driver but they were barred by hospital doctors.

The LTO 7 will also check if the truck was overloaded.

Tancinco said the driver may lose his license considering the death toll of the accident. But he said only the LTO central office in Manila can revoke a driver’s license.

Famulagan is confined at the Chong Hua Hospital in Cebu City. He underwent surgery yesterday.

Cabajar told Sun.Star Cebu that four persons went to the Carcar Police Station yesterday to sign affidavits against the truck driver.

Teodora Famulagan, whose husband Wenceslao, a barangay councilor, was among those who died, said Mario should have told them the truck has defective brakes.

Burial

“Kung nakaingon pa to siya, mag-andam sad tung tua sa likod (Had he told them about it, the passengers would have prepared themselves),” she said.

Those who died will be buried on Sunday at the public cemetery in Argao.

At the Tupas Memorial Services in Barangay Poblacion, Argao, Sun.Star Cebu heard
relatives worrying about the payment for the caskets, which cost P18,000 each.

“Wala gyud miy kwarta. Asa mi og ikabayad ani (Where would we get the money to pay for this)?” asked Aproniana Marzon, 53, who lost her 55-year-old husband Daniel.

The families later received a call from Famulagan’s wife, Luzviminda, assuring them of help.

Sun.Star Cebu called Luzviminda for an interview, but she declined, saying she needs to attend to many concerns.

Assistance

PSWDO head Evelyn Senajon said the Provincial Government can extend up to P10,000 in burial assistance once the families have complied with requirements.

The PSWDO requires the death certificate and burial billing, among others.

Senajon said the PSWDO will also extend assistance to the families, especially those who lost the only family member who earned a living.

Some of the neighbors of Mario and Luzviminda said the couple own two trucks that livestock farmers use for a fee.

The couple reportedly charges P350 for every cow or carabao and P100 for every goat or pig loaded on the truck.

But the registration documents of the truck identify the owner as Ricardo Mamites of Barangay San Isidro in Talisay City.

Meanwhile, Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Director Noel Gillamac said they will coordinate with the LTO and the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board in ensuring that cargo trucks are roadworthy.

Gillamac said he will direct all police station chiefs in the province to meet with truck owners and discuss how accidents can be avoided.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 12, 2014.

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