Driver believed to have started Skyway crash faces criminal raps

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MANILA, Philippines—The man held responsible for the death of a Metro Manila policeman and injuries to three others in a road accident on Black Saturday is now facing several criminal complaints.

The suspect, only identified as Baldwin Co, 50, is now facing complaints of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, multiple physical injuries and damage to property, filed by the Highway Patrol Group at the Paranaque prosecutor’s office on Tuesday morning.

Co was the driver of the speeding black Ford GT Mustang that bumped a Mitsubishi Adventure being driven by Chief Inspector Ferdinand Rosario last March 30 along the Skyway that stretched over the South Luzon Expressway in Sucat, Parañaque.  The policeman died after being thrown off the vehicle.

Rosario, of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Public Safety Battalion, was in the car along with fellow policemen Police Officer 2 Jun Rey Ybañez, Police Officer 1 Nerilito Palima, and Police Officer 1 Andro Manangan, who were tasked to inspect bus marshals during Holy Week, a report from the NCRPO showed.

The policemen’s wagon was traversing the southbound lane of the elevated Skyway near the Sucat toll plaza when Rosario decided to slow down and tried to veer toward the side due to a flat tire.

It was at this point that Co’s vehicle came from behind and ended up crashing into the wagon’s rear end, causing the latter to ram into the center concrete fence and turn turtle. The impact was so great, Rosario was thrown outside the car, a police traffic accident report form showed.

Rosario was declared dead on arrival at the Ospital ng Muntinlupa, although his three other companions survived the ordeal, NCRPO Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina said.

Co and his passenger, reportedly his househelp, were brought to the Asian Hospital and Medical Center also in Muntinlupa city, although they reportedly “escaped” through a back exit before Co could be arrested, Espina said.

On Monday, Espina conferred on Rosario a posthumous award for “efficiency,” and extended financial assistance to his surviving siblings.

“Rosario is a fine member of the police force who should be emulated. Up to the last moment of his life, he was serving the country, by personally leading inspections on bus marshals to ensure the safety of travelers this past Holy Week,” Espina said, in Filipino.

Rosario, 37, was a Pangasinan native and a member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) “Buklod-Diwa” class of 2001. He was set to graduate with a degree in Bachelor of Laws at the Manuel L. Quezon University this year. He was described as a good leader and as approachable by his colleagues, and has earned numerous PNP awards since he started serving the force as a member of the Special Action Force unit in 2001, Espina noted.

Espina ordered policemen to locate Co and asked the Highway Patrol Group to investigate those who helped Co escape from the hospital.

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  • $26606290

    So nasa passing / overtaking lane si inspector tumabi? ….for their vehicle to hit the center concrete fence? Was the late inspector wearing his seat belt? Or did this fail?

    • Simon Ward

      Good questions. Or maybe they were headed toward the hard shoulder and the Mustang was coming up the slow lane. Just a worthless observation since we don’t know: groups of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Mustangs and Camaros regularly burn up on the South Super Highway with no regard whatsoever for lane discipline.

  • yonoh

    intsik na naman…………….

    • Steven Zahl

      They have all the money in the Philippines.

  • Jesse_Bruce_Pinkman

    The reason why he was thrown out of the vehicle is that he was not wearing his seatbelt.

    Too bad it was too late for him to learn that lesson.

    I already had 5 major accidents in my life and everytime I had each one of them, I got out unscathed except for bruises in my back along the spine, which I could not explain why. Thanks to seatbelt, I did not suffer any horrible injuries. I would rather choose to die instantly than survive the accident and become a cripple.

  • Nic Legaspi

    Definitely, powerful cars and Philippine roads do not match. Drivers of these fast cars always get that desire to really step on the acceleration, and in clear violation of driving laws. I just don’t get it…

  • BongCastaneda

    they admitted that they were swerving to the side because of a flat tire.
    Which side, the right or the left?
    If to the right then that’s the hi speed lane, if to the left that’s the low speed lane.
    Either way, it must have been sudden because any driver behind them may not have
    enough time to avoid them.
    It could have been a real accident that came about of the sudden swerving due to a flat tire.

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