Freeman Metro Cebu

Driver in deadly road accident ‘not missing’

Christell Fatima M. Tudtud - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Police said the driver of the private dump truck involved in Wednesday’s fatal road accident near the Marcelo Fernan Bridge is not missing, contrary to a local newspaper report yesterday.

Pablo Estrera, 37, has not gone missing nor escaped from the hospital, according to Senior Superintendent Arnel Amor Libed, officer-in-charge of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office.

“The driver is still confined in the hospital. He cannot escape since we detailed police personnel to guard him 24/7,” Libed assured.

Estrera, a native of Bogo City who presently resides in Barangay Tunghaan, Minglanilla town, was driving towards the Lapu-Lapu City end of the bridge on Wednesday evening when the brakes of his dump truck (AGA 665) reportedly malfunctioned.

As a consequence, the truck hit a lamp post, then rammed on a multicab (SKK 625) of the Department of Public Works and Highways stationed near the foot of the bridge, causing it to knock on Ricky Booc, 40, and killing him in the process.

The wayward truck also ploughed through another DPWH dump truck nearby. The three vehicles, led by the pushed DPWH truck, ripped through road railings and ended up damaging a boutique across the road.

The incident resulted to loss of power, according to the Mactan Electric Company, as well as traffic congestion in the area. DPWH is undertaking road works in this section of the road.

Five other persons were confirmed injured, including  Marlon Katam-isan, 47, and Joselito Cruz, 36, both residents of Mandaue City; Raymundo Penandra of Martires, Cebu City; Robincio Tugap , 47, of Barangay Buaya, Lapu-Lapu City.

They were all brought to the hospital, along with the suspect’s passenger, Raymond Ediza, 18, also from Tunghaan, Minglanilla. All are now in a safe condition.

Earlier, Police Officer 2 Jobin Pino, investigator at the Traffic Management Unit, said Estrera was transferred to Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center’s Trauma Center after he was first brought to Chong Hua Hospital.

Pino also debunked reports that Estrera had died.

Police Senior Inspector Zenaido Pastorfide, chief of LCPO Homicide Section, corroborated Libed’s statements, saying Estrera is still being treated at VSMMC.

He said complaints of reckless imprudence resulting to homicide and damage to property will be filed by police against Estrera.

“We need affidavits from the family of the victim who died during the incident to push through with the case,” Pastorfide said.

DPWH also separately plans to sue the private truck’s driver.

Police are yet to schedule the filing of the cases until affidavits from the victims will be completed. (FREEMAN)


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