7 health workers die in Alegria car crash

(UPDATED) -- The driver, former seaman Gilbert Adlawan dela Cruz, 44, suffered injuries, but he survived. The accident fell on the eve of the Fiesta Señor.

In Guinsay, Danao City, two teenagers died, while eight others were injured in a vehicular accident at 1 a.m. yesterday.

The fatalities were identified as Ace Peñalosa, 17, and Angeline Roble, 18. They were on board a Nissan Navara when it collided with a van after taking over a 10-wheeler truck.

In Alegria, Senior Insp. Efren Diaz Jr., the town police chief, said that dela Cruz admitted that he fell asleep during the trip.

Dela Cruz, a resident of Barangay Guiwanon, Argao, was arrested after the accident. He was taken to Badian District Hospital for treatment and drug testing.

“He denied he is a drug user, but he claimed he lacked sleep,” Diaz said in a phone interview.

Three injured passengers were brought to a private hospital in Cebu City. They are Elenita Rubio, Leonor Tsai and Fred Tsai.

Six passengers were declared dead on arrival in Reinhard Wirtgen Memorial Hospital in Barangay Poblacion, Alegria.

They are Aurora Gagni, Joseph Huang, Juvella Huang, Nunilo Rubio, Rey Pascual and Berniti Rojas. Diana Pascual died in Malabuyoc District Hospital.

Needed to rest

Dela Cruz said he had slept for an hour before he was hired by the victims, who were going to Camiguin on Monday for a medical mission.

He had been driving in the past four days and he lacked rest.

He told the police that he has been paying P10,000 for the van (license plate AED 1299) before its ownership would be transferred in his name.

Diaz said that the victims were Filipinos who have US citizenship. The victims’ companions, who are also medical practitioners, were in a separate van.

Diaz said that the victims arrived in Cebu at 3 a.m. yesterday and went to Oslob for whale shark watching. They were on their way to Kawasan Falls in Badian, Cebu when they met the accident.

The mahogany tree stands near Legaspi’s barangay hall.

Some residents told the police that the van was traveling fast. Diaz said the fatalities were possibly sleeping when the vehicle crashed.

“The survivors who were interviewed by my personnel were still in shock. They gave incoherent answers,” he said in Tagalog. (KAL/SunStar Cebu)

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