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DOST employee in ‘hit and run’ of UPLB researcher surrenders

/ 11:45 AM August 09, 2019

SAN PEDRO CITY –– The driver of the car that hit a University of the Philippines Los Bańos (UPLB) researcher in Laguna surrendered to the authorities on Friday morning.

Mark Joshua Peñarubia, 23, turned himself in a day after police recovered the car in a housing area at the UPLB College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR).

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Peñarubia, reportedly a contractual employee of the Forest Products Research and Development Institute-Department of Science and Technology in Los Baños, faced charges for reckless imprudence resulting in physical injuries.

“(Peñarubia) admitted he had a few drinks (before the incident happened),” said police corporal Ruperto Lapitan Jr. of the Los Baños police.

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Lapitan, in a phone interview, said the victim, Edilyn Lopez remained in comatose under a hospital intensive care unit since the incident on August 7.

Lopez, a UPLB alumna, in her 20s, is a university researcher at the CFNR. Her parents are police officials at the Police Crime Laboratory in Camp Crame, Quezon City, and Cordillera region.

According to Lapitan, Lopez and her boyfriend were driving along the national highway in Barangay Anos when the incident happened around 8 p.m.

Lopez, who was driving the vehicle, suddenly pulled to a stop to avoid hitting passengers who got off a bus.

As a result, a car tailing Lopez’s vehicle bumped them on the rear.

“So (Lopez) and her boyfriend got off their vehicle to talk to the woman driving the car behind them. (Lopez) was asking the woman ‘how are you? Are you hurt?’ because the woman seemed shaken,” Lapitan said quoting witnesses’ accounts.

Lapitan said that as they were talking on the road, Peñarubia, driving from the opposite direction, hit Lopez.

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Peñarubia then sped away towards Calamba City.

Lapitan said security camera footages led them to find Peñarubia’s car, which he left in his relatives’ home inside the UPLB Forestry campus.

“The car belonged to a deceased aunt. (Peñarubia) said he would borrow it from time to time,” Lapitan added. /lb

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TAGS: driver, hit and run, researcher, University of the Philippines-Los Baños, UPLB
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