7 killed, 8 hurt in Sarangani road accident

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/19 May) — Seven people were killed while eight others were injured after a passenger van collided head-on with a boom truck along the national highway in Kiamba town in Sarangani Province on Wednesday afternoon.

Police Officer 1 Dexter Allan Narvaez, case investigator of the Kiamba municipal police station, said Thursday the incident happened at a portion of the highway in Barangay Lagundi at around 3:35 p.m.

He said the passenger van, which came from Maitum town and was bound for this city, crashed into the truck owned by power distribution utility South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative after one of its tires blew up at the height of heavy rains.

“The van’s driver lost control of the vehicle after its right front tire suddenly exploded. It eventually entered the opposite lane and hit the truck,” he told MindaNews on the phone.

Narvaez said four van passengers died on-the-spot while 11 other people, including the truck’s driver, were rushed to various hospitals in Poblacion, Kiamba and in this city.

Three of the victims were identified as Cristina Lezelle and her four-year old daughter Maima, and Usman Uga. The fourth victim, an elderly woman, is still unidentified as of Thursday morning.

Another passenger, identified as John Maris Valmoria, later died while being treated at the Tiburcio Hospital in Kiamba.

The truck’s driver Gregorio Hombrog and van passenger Iris Gaye Rosalla succumbed to their injuries at a private hospital in this city on Wednesday night.

The van’s driver, Abdul Vandar Dani, was still in critical condition at the intensive care unit of a hospital here.

Citing accounts from the van’s surviving passengers, Narvaez said both vehicles were traveling fast when the incident happened.

He said the area is considered as accident-prone due to a sharp curve and has warning or road signs in place for motorists.

Wednesday’s accident is the fourth in Barangay Lagundi since January and the biggest so far in terms of casualties, he added. (MindaNews)