BONTOC, Mountain Province – A van driver died while twelve individuals were injured when his vehicle collided with a Besao-bound passenger jeepney along the Halsema highway, particularly at sitio Pelay, barangay Bontoc Ili here around 11:30 am Monday.
Senior Superintendent Oliver Enmodias, director of the Mountain Province police office, identified the lone fatality of the collision as Larry Bulwayan, driver of an alleged colorum garage van operating in the province.
On the other hand, the injured jeepney and van passengers were named as Jimbo Fabrigas, 13, single, a native of Sabangan, Mountain Province; Alfred Galad, 73, married, native of Locong, Poblacion, Bontoc, Mountain Province; Jay Damoking, 23, a native of Lagan, Sabangan, Mountain Province; Jose Fabrigas, 42, married and a resident of Sabangan, Mountain Province; Ferdinand Chilig, 19, a resident of barangay Pudo, Natonin, Mountain Province, Jonel Long-a, 20, a native of Pilipil, Cervantes, Ilocos Sur; Rene Buyaen Doyayag, 47, married, jeepney driver, native and; Irene Diaten, 70, widow and; Ricardo Pacada, 56, all residents of Catengan, Besao, Mountain Province; Bonifacio Cobre, 27, a native of Sumadel, Tadian, Mountain Province; Yasheer Fanao, 3, Geslee Fanao, 4, both residents of Betwagan, Sadanga, Mountain Province; Tuesday Palonang, 24, a native of Besao, Mountain Province.
Initial police investigation showed the collision of the two vehicles happened when the van driven by Bulwayan encroached the lane of the jeepney driven by Doyayag.
Responding police operatives from the Bontoc municipal police station, Bontoc fire department and emergency responders rushed the victims to the Bontoc General Hospital for medical treatment.
Bulwayan reportedly expired while undergoing medical treatment while Doyayag is currently confined in the same hospital due to multiple head and body injuries as a result of the head on collision.
Enmodias said testimonies of witnesses are still being taken to ascertain the liability of both drivers on the said vehicular accident that happened right after the tunnel leading to the capital town.
By Dexter A. See