4 killed in Malaybalay highway mishap

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/01 November) – Four women were killed when a vehicle hit them as they were walking on the side of the national highway in Barangay Aglayan in this city, on Sunday afternoon.

The victims were identified as Vitalina Balaba, Jocelyn Sajulga, Candelaria Baal, and Leonila Jamago, all of Aglayan. Balaba and Sajulga’s bodies were run over by the vehicle, Toyota FX HSpur.

Balaba and Sajulga were brought to the Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center in Malaybalay, and Baal and Jamago to the Sanitarium Hospital in Valencia City.

Balaba and Baal died on the way. Sajulga and Jamago were able to reach their respective hospitals but expired minutes after.

The four victims were walking home with two other women from a meeting of a village-based “dayong”, a group where one would receive financial assistance in the event that he/she or a family member dies.

The women were walking on the left-hand side of the highway (in the direction of Malaybalay proper) when the vehicle coming from Valencia supposedly swerved and hit them.

Police arrested and detained the driver, Emmanuel Sun, at the Malaybalay City Police Station.

Sun told traffic investigators he allegedly lost control of the vehicle and could not recall how it crossed the opposite lane and hit the pedestrians on the sidewalk.

Witnesses alleged that Sun tried to overtake but another vehicle was coming towards him. Instead of returning to his lane he veered off towards the left shoulder of the road where the women were walking.

The staff at the Traffic Management Center said an attempt by the driver for a settlement with the family of the victims had failed as of October 31.

Family members said Balaba and Sajulga had already prepared ingredients for food for the holidays. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews).