By Zaldy Commanda
CAMP DANGWA, Benguet – Family members of a Kalinga clan on board a truck to attend a grand clan reunion met an accident which killed 7 people and injured 13 others in Tabuk City, Kalinga Saturday.
Police Major Carol Lacuata, regional information officer of the Police Regional Office-Cordillera, said personnel of Tabuk City Police Station responded to a vehicular accident at Sitio Binongsay, Malin-awa, Tabuk City, at 10:00 a.m of April 20, involving a yellow dump truck with plate number BCN 592.
The investigation revealed that the passengers of the dump truck driven by a certain Mark John Lazaro y Sumaal, 20 and a resident of Mosimos, Dupag, Tabuk City were headed to Barangay Balawag to attend a “posipos”, a customary Kalinga ceremony.
As narrated by Lazaro, he failed to shift to a lower gear as they ascend an uphill portion of the road. With the improper gear, the truck jolted backwards and slid back until it fell on a ravine from a height of 5 meters. The truck tumbled and landed on its left side at the south bound portion of the road.
The victims were brought to Kalinga Provincial Hospital, Almora General Hospital and Holy Trinity Medical Clinic by responding PNP personnel, BFP personnel and volunteers.
Declared dead on arrival at the hospital were Ghelyn Khim Gallema,13; Rufina Limto Dawagon, 49; Jules Mangagom Alvester, 7 and Edmund Lagwingon Mangagom.
Three victims died while undergoing treatment and were identified as Crisanta Casirayan, Lucita Mangagom and Doming Matalang.
Injured victims are Luming Gallamoy, 48; Gaspar Edoc; Willy Salida; Cecilia Balangui; Stallon Mangagom, minor; Purinomo Galamto; Divine Mangagom, 18; Elvira Otal Simangon, 27; Aprilyn Otal, 25; Basilio Baydon; Dominador Casirayan, 52; Corazon Matalang, 54; Kiefer Gallamoy Simangan, 1 year old; Nelia Malawis Sabaway, 50 and Jeniffer Malawis Sabaway, 13.
All victims are residents of New Tanglag, Tabuk City, Kalinga. The dump truck is still at the site of the incident, while the driver is now under the custody of the police at the city RHU-Dagupan.