3 dead, 6 hurt as SUV plows into QC plaza


MANILA, Philippines — Three persons, including an elderly “balut” vendor and her two customers, were killed while six others were injured when a sports utility vehicle (SUV) drove into a barangay (village) plaza along the so-called “killer highway,” Commonwealth Avenue, early Sunday in Quezon City.

The blue Mitsubishi Montero Sport (TZI-993) was driven by 24-year-old Far Eastern University (FEU) student Mark Eleazar Lipana, the son of Quezon City Police District (QCPD) deputy director for operations Senior Superintendent Procopio Lipana. Mark Eleazar Lipana was seriously hurt and is still confined at the St. Luke’s Medical Center.

Police Officer 2 Alfredo Moises III, of the QCPD traffic sector, identified the pedestrians who were killed instantly in the accident as Liza Romero, 60; 20-year-old call center agent Juliet Montefalco; and 22-year-old cook Jeffrey Flores.

Injured were Felipe Robi, 18; Kimberly Mangaring, 16; and 27-year-old tricycle driver Ronilo Dario Jr, as well as Lipana’s two passengers, Francis Erick Taguba, 24; and Fernando Teodoro, 19. They were brought to the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) for treatment.

Moises said the accident happened at around 2:30 a.m., on Sunday, at the plaza in front of the Barangay Commonwealth hall along Commonwealth Avenue.

The traffic investigator said that Lipana and his companions were headed to Barangay East Fairview when an unidentified taho vendor suddenly darted across Commonwealth Avenue prompting the driver to make a sharp swerve to the right to avoid hitting the pedestrian.

“He (the driver) lost control of the vehicle, which slammed into a concrete post and drove right into the group of people gathered around a bench at the barangay plaza,” Moises told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, adding that the balut vendor and her two customers were instantly killed when they were run over by the SUV. The three other casualties were standing nearby and were swiped by the vehicle.

According to the traffic investigator, Lipana and his two companions had to be pulled out of the SUV wreckage.

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