Five hurt as drunk driver fails to control cargo truck

FIVE PEOPLE were rushed to the hospital after a drunk driver rammed his truck into seven other vehicles, including a motorcycle and a bicycle, along Carlos P. Garcia Highway, Matina Pangi, around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 20. 

Captain Hazel Tuazon, spokesperson of Davao City Police Office (DCPO), identified the injured as taxi driver Lito Villaganto and his passenger Roger Pemperona, 63, a corn vendor; bicycle rider Noel Funa, 40, a receiving clerk at S&R; motorbike driver Pamfilo Decena, 40, and his passenger Eugene Paron, 28, a gasoline pump boy.

Initial investigation showed that Villaganto was driving his taxi on the southbound lane of the diversion road heading toward Ma-a before the incident. Tailing him were the Decena’s Honda XRM motorcycle and Funa on his bicycle. 

Some 20 meters behind them were a Toyota Fortuner driven by Ansary Naga, 32, a resident of Barangay Lubogan, an Isuzu MUX driven by Roy Gabisan, 45, and an Isuzu Hilander, driven by Karl Demaulo, 27, and another Isuzu truck driven by Melshedeck Aranas. 

Meanwhile, suspect Romel Icalina, 39, was driving his Isuzu flatbed truck in the opposite direction heading toward Ulas. However, he suddenly swerved and smashed head-on onto the taxi. 

The taxi careened backwards from the speed and force of impact. The truck did not even slow down, pinning the motorcycle and bicycle from behind the cab. Icalina only stopped when he met another large object after colliding with the left rear portion of another truck driven by Aranas.

Unfortunately, the suspect was carrying steel bars on its flatbed, and the heavy load fell to the road when he executed a sudden left turn to try to control the truck. The steel bars subsequently hit the Fortuner and the MUX, causing the latter to turn sideways. The Hilander, meanwhile, crashed into the right side portion of the MUX. 

The injured were brought to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) by Central 911 and Barangay Matina Crossing ambulance.

The truck driver, who was observed to be under the influence, was detained by the police, facing a case for reckless imprudence resulting in physical injuries and property damage.

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Source: Mindanao Times ( https://mindanaotimes.com.ph/2023/07/21/8-car-pile-up/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=8-car-pile-up)