2 killed in SLEx smashup
MANILA, Philippines—Two people, including a former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) player, died instantly in a three-vehicle smashup late Monday night on the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) in Barangay (village) Cupang, Muntinlupa City.
Meanwhile, a 12-vehicle pileup on C5-Kalayaan Avenue in Makati City left two people injured on Tuesday afternoon.
The fatalities in Monday’s accident on SLEx were identified by the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (HPG) as Bryan Gahol, a former cager and Los Baños, Laguna, councilor, and his girlfriend Rosemarie Manalo.
In an interview on Inquirer Radio 990AM, HPG spokesperson Supt. Elizabeth Velasquez said the accident happened as Gahol was driving a Nissan Urvan on the northbound lane of the expressway at 10:30 p.m. on Monday. Manalo was seated beside him while there were three other passengers in the back.
The trouble began when a cargo jeep delivering vegetables being driven by Alfredo Abe veered to the right to overtake Gahol’s van. The jeep, however, ended up hitting a trailer truck in front of Gahol’s vehicle. Due to the impact, the jeep bounced and rammed into the victim’s van.
A report from the Muntinlupa police said Gahol and Manalo were rushed to Parañaque Medical Center where they were declared dead on arrival.
Velasquez said Gahol’s three other passengers survived. Some of the passengers in the trailer truck and cargo jeep were also injured but they refused treatment and left the scene immediately, he added.
The driver of the trailer truck, Felix Muztaza, and Abe were taken into custody by the HPG although Velasquez said only Abe would be charged with reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide.
Gahol, a 6’5” basketball player, joined the PBA, playing for teams such as Mobiline, Petron Blaze, Alaska Aces and Barako Bull, where he last played as a forward in 2005.
After his contract expired in the PBA, he played in the Gov. Willie Enverga-National Basketball Conference (NBC) International Invitational Cup and the NBC National Cup in Lucena City, Quezon.
Before he turned professional, however, he played for the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.
In 2010, Gahol entered politics and won a seat as councilor in Los Baños, Laguna. He ran for reelection last year but lost his bid.
Meanwhile, initial reports reaching the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Metrobase showed that Tuesday’s accident occurred on the northbound lane of C5-Kalayaan Avenue near the elevated U-turn slot when a 10-wheel truck carrying LPG tanks lost its brakes and careened into other vehicles.
This led to a domino-effect and resulted in a 12-vehicle smashup involving two Innovas, a Pajero, an Adventure, a Tucson, two other vans, a CRV, an L300, a Hi-Lux and a motorcycle.
The MMDA Metrobase reported that the two who were injured were the motorcycle’s passengers. They were brought to Ospital ng Makati for treatment.
Traffic became heavy on C5 Road as only one lane was passable due to the accident. By 6:30 p.m., all the vehicles involved had been towed and brought to the Makati traffic police headquarters on Malugay Street.
The truck’s driver, Francisco Cacheno, was also brought to the police station. He told reporters that the vehicle lost its brakes.—With Inquirer Research
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