After attending funeral, at least 4 die in Compostela road mishap
TAGUM CITY – At least four people were killed when a passenger jeepney packed with mourners slammed into a concrete center island along the Tagum-Mati highway in Maco, Compostela Valley on Monday evening, police and local officials said Tuesday.
Eight others suffered injuries following the 6:10 p.m. incident at Purok Mauswagon in Barangay (village) Poblacion, according to Senior Supt. Albert Ignatius Ferro, Compostela Valley police chief.
The victims were all residents of Maniki village in Kapalong, Davao del Norte and were on their way home from a beach resort after attending a funeral, said Kapalong Mayor Edgardo Timbol.
Initial investigation revealed the jeepney with plate number LVH-470 – driven by Diego Raveno – was travelling along the national highway when it suddenly slammed the center island, Ferro said by text message.
Three of those killed were identified as Elizabeth and Ronald Orallo, and Perfecto Baquino.
Witnesses said the vehicle careened along the highway before hitting the center island, catapulting many passengers, including those seated on its roof, into the air and on the pavement.
“We heard a loud thud and saw the Lawin-type jeep hit against the center island and topple on its right side,” said Roy Macul, a witness said. Plates, kettles and other kitchenware were strewn on the pavement. One of the front tires was torn off, he added.
The impact also tore the side of the center island and toppled the lamp post next to it, Macul said, adding the vehicle appeared to be running at 70 kilometers per hour.
Chief Insp. Pablito Odias, Maco police station, said the double-tire type jeepney came from Mabini, Compostela Valley with 38 people on board.
Three injured victims died while being treated at the Davao Regional Medical Hospital (DRMC) here, Odias said.
Another victim died Tuesday morning, Timbol said. He said his office has extended an unspecified amount as burial assistance to the victims.
Odias said the accident happened along the four-lane highway at the town proper.
“Most of the victims had just attended the funeral of the driver’s wife, who was the principal of our elementary school, a day earlier, and decided to go to the beach as a sort of easing their grief,” said Timbol. “Maybe he’s fatigued,” the mayor said, adding the driver was among those still being treated at the DRMC.
An investigation into the accident was now being conducted, police said.
Early on Monday, 15 people were also injured as two L-300 vans collided in Monkayo, Compostela Valley.
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