The death count in the road accident involving a six-wheel cargo truck fully loaded with beachgoers that lost its brakes in Balingasag, Misamis Oriental has reached 11 as of Thursday, the police said.
Two of the three latest fatalities – added to the initial count of eight who died on the spot – were girls who were rushed to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center in this city after battling severe injuries when the truck they were riding overturned due to a brake malfunction on Wednesday morning.
In a telephone interview, Staff Master Sgt. Rogel Pabatao, the investigator at the Balingasag municipal police station, said a Mitsubishi Canter truck, driven by Junryl Cagmat, was on its way to a beach resort in Lagonglong municipality of the same province when it lost its brake in Purok Baga-ay, Barangay Baliwagan, Balingasag.
He said the beachgoers consisted of two trucks going to their destination on Wednesday.
“According to the driver, the ill-fated truck lost its brake causing it to ram into a pile of concrete blocks,” Pabatao said.
He said the impact of the crash had thrown out several of the passengers, eight of whom died on the spot.
At the time of the accident, Pabatao said the children on board the truck were still alive although they suffered from injuries.
Aside from the two children, those who were declared dead were identified by the police as Elizabeth Bagabaldo, Allan Cadenas, Joseph Dallanta, Edelberto Albios, Niño Linas, Cristina Cadenas, Susan Dallanta, Loling Sinag-od, and Stella Mae Maraon.
Pabatao said Bagabaldo’s body was pinned to a tree during the crash, while Maraon – one of the three latest fatalities – was still alive when she was brought to a hospital but was later declared dead by attending physicians at the Misamis Oriental Provincial Hospital-Balingasag due to loss of blood.
Pabatao said most of the passengers have fractured bones.
Those who sustained various levels of injuries were Elbert Llanasa, 33; Simo Cape, 58; Jesse Ferrer, 31; Jaime Opaon, 54; Mitchel Daguiom, 25; Christian Odchigue, 24; Nora Odchigue, 52; Christian Sinag-od, 17; Rheamae Sevilla, 18; Joemico Sevilla, 18; and seven minors.
All of the victims are from Sitio Impakibel, Barangay Aposkahoy in Claveria town, Pabatao said.
In a separate interview, Maj. Teodoro de Oro, Balingasag municipal police station chief, said the truck’s driver had to stop at Barangay Linabo, a few kilometers from Baliwagan, to check on the vehicle before proceeding but the accident still happened.
De Oro said the driver could be facing several charges, including reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicides, multiple serious physical injuries, and property damage.
“If the families of the victims want to file cases against the driver, they can do so,” he said.
Source: Philippines News Agency