4 die, 24 hurt as campaign jeep turns turtle in Baguio

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BAGUIO CITY – Four people died while twenty four others were injured after a passenger jeepney fully loaded with campaigners of a congressional candidate allegedly lost its brakes and turned turtle along a descending portion of Km. 3, Asin road, here, Tuesday morning.

Police authorities disclosed that three of the fatalities died on the spot while one of them died while undergoing medical treatment at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC).

The fatalities were named by probers as Elizabeth Panes, Richelda Abaicar, Adelita Agsaoay Pimentel, 68, and Julia Labi.

The injured passengers include: Ryjen Ondong Palatic, Jonalyn Dekdeken, Agnes Ag-a, Gloria Simsim Gataran, Michael Boligon, Robert Sibal, Jr., Mary Grace Castro, Patrick Zhan Tinor, Travis Aliping, Judith Siplat, Jovelyn Gados, Kellicent Lardizabal, Mercedes Guerrero, Shantal Viene Gonnay, Kyle Rector Lardizabal, Josephine Ag-a, Alma Allera, Hilaria Sibal, Johnrey Passi, Adelina Agsaoay, Leander Vergara, Sally Balaodan, Josephine Ligligen, and Cherlyn Gados.

Initial police investigation showed that the ill-fated passenger jeepney driven by a certain Leander Vergara came from the residence of the congressional candidate in Crystal Cave, Bakakeng Central here and was supposed to be bound for San Carlos Heights for their daily sorties.

The driver opted to take the route in Suello Village considering that there was lesser traffic congestion in the area as it is serving as an alternate route for motorists wanting to go to the western part of the city.

Upon reaching the descending portion of the road, the driver noticed that the motor vehicle already lost its brakes that prompted him to ram his vehicle on the concrete barriers that were established as protective devices along the portion of the road but his effort to do so was in vain that caused the same to turn turtle and rammed into some concrete portions of the road that prevented it from falling into the golf course of the Pinewoods golf and Country club.

Responding police operatives and emergency rescuers immediately responded to the accident scene and rushed the victims to the BGHMC for medical treatment.

Probers claimed that a number of the injured passengers are still in critical condition as of press time.

By Dexter A. See