4 hurt as sleepy driver slams van into waiting taxis



MANILA, Philippines—A driver struggling to keep awake on the road was hurt, along with three other persons, when his van plowed into a row of taxis in front of a bar early Saturday morning in Quezon City.

Apart from Gilbert San Gabriel, 32, three women in the vicinity of the Candy Shop pub on Quezon Avenue, were hurt. Police identified them as Joan Echiveri, 22, Maria Luisa dela Cruz, 25, and Roxanne Dinabuyo, 20.

Three taxicabs were damaged.

Traffic investigator Ronnie Nazareno said San Gabriel, a resident of Paco, Manila, was driving a Mitsubishi L300 van with license plate NOV 332 when the accident happened at around 5:45 a.m. San Gabriel  admitted that he was sleepy while driving the van to Manila to return it to his employer.

The van slammed into  taxis waiting for passengers in front of the bar near the corner of Quezon and West Avenues.

The L300 van first hit the taxi (UVV-391) of Isabelo Narne, 59, severely damaging its rear and causing a domino  effect that sent the taxi smashing into that of Ronnie Alegre, 46, with license plate PXV-589, which in turn smashed against the taxi of Manuel Estopia, 48, with license plate UVV-801.

One of the injured women, Echiveri, was in Estopia’s cab but the other two were outside and were injured by flying glass.

Police were preparing a possible case of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple damage to property  and multiple physical injuries against San Gabriel.

San Gabriel was confined at the East Avenue Medical Center for his injuries while the three women were treated at the Capitol Medical Center.

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