2 men killed in collision

TWO casino employees were killed while two construction workers were wounded after a government-owned vehicle hit them in Salinas Drive, Barangay Lahug, Cebu City early Saturday morning.

The white Honda Civic driven by Gerard Dela Cruz, 28, mowed down the victims at 6:09 a.m. before damaging the perimeter fence of Chika-an sa Cebu restaurant.

Gaudioso Bontilao, 47, and Joselito Lopez, 43, died on the spot after the motorcycle they were riding collided with the sedan.

They were both slot machine attendants of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) Casino Filipino in the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino, less than a kilometer away.

Construction workers Danny Vale, 37, and Ruel Cadiz, 33, suffered severe injuries after getting hit while walking on the roadside.

CEBU. Karen Lopez weeps beside the body of her husband Joselito “Jojo” Lopez, 43, who died after a government-issued sedan collided with the motorcycle Lopez was riding with a co-worker, Gaudioso Bontilao, 47. The couple was looking forward to spending Lopez’s day off together. (Alan Tangcawan)

PO2 Chady Jungoy, the investigator on the case, said that Dela Cruz, who used to work as a poker dealer in the government-run casino, probably fell asleep while cruising down Salinas Drive.

He was subjected to a liquor test.

The sedan (YGX-365), reportedly issued by PAGCOR to his father, encroached on the other lane and collided with a black XRM motorcycle.

Bontilao was driving the motorcycle (8989-GQ); Lopez rode behind him. Both had just gone out from the hotel.

The two men were heading home after finishing the graveyard shift.

Bontilao was from Barangay Adlawon while Lopez lived in Barangay Capitol Site.

Severe injuries

An autopsy report by the PNP Regional Crime Laboratory Office 7 showed Bontilao and Lopez died from severe injuries and multiple fractures.

Chief Inspector Benjamin Lara, medico-legal officer, told Sun.Star Cebu that Bontilao suffered from blunt traumatic injuries to the head, trunk and extremities.

Bontilao’s skull was fractured; the impact caused massive bleeding in his brain. Multiple fractures were noticed on his left hand, right thigh, right foot and both ribs.

His pancreas and both lungs were also lacerated. Lopez also suffered from blunt traumatic injuries to the neck, trunk and extremities.

His skull had a hairline fracture while his neck joint got dislocated. His left hand and left thigh sustained multiple injuries.

The impact also caused his left lung and pancreas to be lacerated, apart from fracturing one of his left ribs.

The autopsy was conducted Saturday afternoon in the Surelife Funeral Homes along N. Bacalso Ave., where the remains of Bontilao and Lopez were brought.


The construction workers, on the other hand, were brought to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC).

Vale is from Barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City while Cadiz lives in Camotes Island.

When interviewed by journalists, Dela Cruz said he didn’t intend for the collision to happen.

“Kung pwede pa lang nako mabaylo akong kinabuhi sa ilaha (If I could have given up my life for theirs, I would),” he said.

Dela Cruz of Barangay Pajac, Lapu-Lapu City had come from a boarding house in Barangay Apas, where he said he consumed some alcohol.

But he clarified he was not drunk. Complaints for reckless imprudence resulting to multiple homicide, multiple physical injuries and damage to property are being prepared against him.

Bontilao’s wife Merlyn said they will not settle out of court.

After his shift from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., Bontilao would always go home immediately.

He was approaching his 20th year in service.

Stunned families

Merlyn was alarmed when her husband hadn’t made it home before sunrise. And then she learned the news. The couple has only one child, a 10-year-old boy.

For Lopez’s wife Karen, she said her husband would always go home by riding a jeepney. Yesterday was the first time, to her knowledge, that Lopez hitched a ride with Bontilao.

Karen said her husband was a good man and had no vice. He had worked 17 years as slot machine attendant.

They have three children; the oldest is 14.

“Mag-day off na ta sila. Makalaag na ta mi (He was scheduled to take a day off and we were planning to go out),” she said.

On Saturday, the families of the victims also talked with Dela Cruz’s father, Danilo, about the accident.

“Gusto lang sa namo mahipos sila ug tarong. Wala pa mi nagsabot kung mag-settle ba o di (We want them to be taken care of decently. We have not talked about whether or not to settle),” she said.

Brakes failed

In a separate accident, a truck rear-ended a dump truck in the South Road Properties at 2:45 p.m., wounding one of the drivers.

Joselito Engcoy of Talisay City was pinned inside the Isuzu forward truck (YAV-543). He was taken out after more than one hour, while the accident caused traffic to build up.

His co-worker Arnel Pinili, 31, told Sun.Star Cebu they were on their way to the Cebu Port Area to get rice. Pinili was left unscathed after he rushed to the back seat while the collision was imminent. “Wala na nigana ang brake namo (Our vehicle’s brakes failed),” he said.

The Isuzu dump truck (KFG-778) driven by Vicente Predes didn’t have major damage. The truck was loaded with sand.

Traffic enforcer Michael Cabaluna said they saw a long skid mark in the accident site that would suggest Engcoy was probably driving fast. (Sun.Star Cebu)


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