TACURONG CITY (MindaNews/31 August) – The number of persons killed in a collision involving a cargo truck and passenger jeep along the national highway on Sunday afternoon had climbed to nine.
Queenie Yalong died while being transported to a hospital in General Santos City on Sunday night. Her six-year old child, Angel, was also killed in the accident.
The seven other fatalities, all relatives of Yalong, were brought to a funeral parlor in Tacurong. Their families refused to be interviewed saying they want to mourn in private.
Seven others were injured in the collision.
Superintendent Junny Buenacosa, Tacurong City chief-of-police said the head-on collision occurred in Purok 2, Barangay EJC Montilla national highway at around 4:30 p.m. between a passenger-loaded Toyota Town Ace jeep and a 10-wheeler truck loaded with palay.
Buenacosa said that initial statements from the witnesses as gathered by the investigators showed that one of the rear tires of the hauler truck exploded as it was cruising the highway.
He said investigators also received information from survivors that the driver of the passenger jeep fell asleep, causing the van to swerve and hit the hauler truck.
“There are so many versions how the incident happened, we are still investigating, our traffic team is still in the area,” Buenacosa said.
Buenacosa said he has interviewed the driver and that the driver said he attempted to overtake but miscalculated his move.
The victims were immediately rushed to the Sultan Kudarat Doctors’ Hospital in Tacurong City and Sultan Kudarat Provincial Hospital in Isulan town.
They were believed to have come from an outing in a resort in Tacurong City and were returning home to Isulan town when accident happened.
The driver of the 10-wheeler truck and his four assistants were coming from Tulunan, North Cotabato. They were brought to the Tacurong City police late Sunday.
They suffered minor injuries from the collision.
Buanacosa is set to file charges of reckless driving against the truck driver. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)