KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/ 2 February) – Two passengers died while five others were hurt when the jeep they were riding veered off the road and smashed into a big tree in Barangay Noa, Magpet town in North Cotabato at around 10:30 a.m. Saturday, police said.
Inspector Basilio Parcon, deputy chief for operations of the Magpet police station, identified the fatalities as Toto Canaan, 21, and Ronnie Abawan, both residents of Barangay Basak, Magpet.
The injured were Michael Asam, 20, of Barangay Basak; Marcela Tan, 52, of Barangay Noa; and Mendoza Gay, 54; Arlyn Gay, 23, and Jemard Camad, all residents of Barangay Balite.
Parcon said the jeep has about 30 passengers and on the way to a beach resort in Digos City, Davao del Sur for a thanksgiving party when they met the accident.
Driver Ronan Cabutaje told authorities that the vehicle, a double-tire passenger jeep, lost its brakes after its propeller was damaged.
Bearing license plate KVP 485, the jeep was also loaded with 54 sacks of corn for delivery to a trader in Kidapawan City.
Parcon said the passengers who died were among those that boarded the top portion of the jeep.
“When they saw that the jeep was [headed] to a cliff, they immediately jumped from the top but were not lucky,” said the police officer.
Other passengers managed to extricate themselves from the vehicle after it hit the tree along the highway, he added.
The injured passengers were rushed to a hospital here. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)