Habal-habal driver dies, delivery app rider hurt after vehicle struck them in Banilad, Cebu City

Habal-habal driver dies, delivery app rider hurt after vehicle struck them in Banilad, Cebu City
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A HABAL-HABAL driver passed away and the rider of a delivery app was also hurt after a van struck them on Governor Cuenco Avenue, Barangay Banilad, Cebu City, past 4 a.m. on Saturday, June 15, 2024.

The fatality was identified as as Basilio Lopez, Jr., a 55-year-old widower from Barangay Babag 2, Cebu City, and the injured as Ryan Labita, 28, of Barangay Pagsabungan, Mandaue City.

According to some witnesses, Lopez was waiting for passengers, while Labita was waiting for his order in front of a fast food chain when they were hit by the white Toyota Innova van driven by Romel Paloma.

The vehicle first struck Lopez on a Honda Click motorcycle, crashed into a post, and then hit the Grab rider.

Both victims were thrown due to the force of the impact.

The van reportedly whirl around three times before it finally stopped.

Lopez’s motorcycle was pinned under the car and was in total wreck.

An ambulance from the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office rushed the victims to the nearest hospital; however Lopez died after sustaining serious injuries.

Paloma was also brought to a private upon the request of his father, who introduced himself as a lawyer.

Police Major Jonathan Dela Cerna, the chief of the Traffic Enforcement Unit (TEU) of the Cebu City Police Office, said in an interview with DyHP and SunStar Cebu that they placed Paloma under hospital arrest.

Dela Cerna said that their investigation revealed that at the time of the incident, Paloma was driving quickly towards Talamban area.

According to him, Paloma will also undergo a liquor test to determine whether or not he was drunk during the incident.

“It’s either he was drunk, asleep or his car had a defect,” Dela Cerna said in Cebuano.

Records obtained by TEU showed that the car is owned by a company, whose name is withheld by Dela Cerna.

In an interview with DyHP, Charline disclosed that her older brother Basilio worked as a flower vendor.

After his flowers were sold, he picked up passengers before returning to Babag.

She also thought that the victim might have been in the vicinity waiting for his lover.

The suspect will be facing charges for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and physical injury and damage to property. (AYB, TPT)

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