Driver in fatal collision released

THE driver of the compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) that collided with a tricycle, killing three people and injuring four others in Barangay Villamonte, Bacolod City, was released from detention on April 12 after the 18-hour reglementary period lapsed.

Chief Inspector Ritchie Gohee, head of Police Station 4, said Thursday, April 12, that the City Prosecutor's Office allowed Luigi Malacon, 28, of Barangay 2, E.B. Magalona, to be released from police custody after the family of the victims agreed to meet for settlement.

Malacon, cousin of E.B. Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon, was released around 8 p.m. Thursday.

But Gohee said charges for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, physical injuries, and damage to property will still be filed against the suspect.

“We tried everything to hasten the filing of the case against him on inquest proceedings but we have limited time to prepare and the death certificates will be issued the following day,” Gohee added.

Gohee said Malacon will also have a talk with relatives of the fatalities Friday, April 13, to discuss the settlement.

Early Thursday, a family, who came from a hospital to visit their kin who passed away, were on their way home to Murcia when the tricycle they were riding was hit by the speeding Ford EcoSport.

Erlinda Villar and her daughter Melinda Tesoro were dead on the spot, while their relative, Rodelyn Nacis, was declared dead upon arrival at Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital.

It was Villar's husband who died in a hospital which they visited early on.

Wounded were tricycle driver Elvis Barcenas, Geralyn Villar, Merlinda Barcenas, and a 16-year-old girl. They were all transferred to Dr. Pablo O. Torre Memorial Hospital from CLMMRH.

The passengers of the tricycle, who were all residents of Murcia town, were thrown off when the collision happened while the front part of the vehicle was severely damaged.

Malacon, who refused media interview, also sustained minor bruises.

Meanwhile, Mayor Malacon said over ABS-CBN Bacolod that he was sad about the incident.

He encouraged his cousin to face the case.
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