ATOK, Benguet – Three people died while six others were injured after their vehicle plunged into a 300meter deep ravine along the Halsema highway, particularly at Km. 57, Calasipan, Cattubo, here, Tuesday afternoon.
Police authorities identified the fatalities as Rey Carias Batong, 38, married and a resident of Guinzadan Norte, Bauko, Mt. Province; Mateo Elector Loy-odan Ngade, 34, married, mechanic and a resident of Tadian, Mountain Province ;Lourdes Payagda Balog-ang, 69, and a resident at Purok 6, Irisan, Baguio City.
The injured vehicle occupants were named as Jessy Keth Cambolo Panisigan, 6, female, Grade 1 Pupil at Star Colleges, Pico, La Trinidad, Benguet; Kyra Panisigan Batawang, 4, female; Glenda Panisigan Batawang, 41, Housewife, all and residents of Lubas, La Trinidad, Benguet; Marilyn Pacio Tomayo, 41, housewife, and a resident of Poliwes, Baguio City; Apolonia Pacalso, 68, and a resident of Bana-ao, Tadian, Mountain Province; and David Ingaan Caoili Jr., 59, married, and a resident of Bana-ao, Tadian, Mountain Province.
After receiving initial treatment at the Atok District Hospital, Apolonia Pacalso and David Ingaan Caoili Jr. were referred to Benguet General Hospital, La Trinidad, Benguet.
Witnesses informed probers that they saw the ill-fated van overtake an elf truck when it suddenly fell on the said ravine that prompted them to immediately seek police assistance.
Rescuers and emergency responders immediately conducted rescue operations and immediately rushed the victims to the Atok District Hospital for initial medical treatment but some of them were referred to various private and public hospital in Baguio and La Trinidad.
The fatalities sustained multiple head and body injuries as a result of the said accident that caused their untimely demise.
Probers are still conducting an investigation on the cause of the accident.
By Dexter A. See