By Liezle Basa Iñigo and Lyka Manalo
Tuy, Batangas/Dagupan City, Pangasinan — It was a bloody weekend for travelers up north and down south of the capital as separate vehicular accidents killed a total of eight people, police reported yesterday.
In Gonzaga, Cagayan province, a sports utility vehicle (SUV) rammed into a roadside tree on Maharlika Highway last Saturday afternoon, killing four of its seven occupants including the driver.
Killed were Nikolo Aquino, driver of the Isuzu Mu-X; his girlfriend Nicole Keziah Nuega; Jeng Baquiran; and Vistoria Louis Baquiran, 16, all of Tuguegarao City.
Senior Inspector Sharon Malilim, public information officer of the Cagayan Valley regional police, quoted traffic investigators as saying that Aquino might have fallen asleep while driving.
Those who survived the SUV’s crash into the Gmelina tree were Joshua de Guzman, 24; Shiela Mapala; and Almond Baquiran.
Malilim said the group was headed back to the city from a family outing on the beach of Santa Ana town at 3 p.m. when the accident happened.
Meanwhile in Tuy, Batangas, the driver of a Suzuki Multicab (AAJ-1783) and three of his young passengers were killed when he rammed the vehicle into a concrete roundabout last Sunday morning.
Senior Police Officer 3 Victor Creus, accident investigator, identified the fatalities as Eusalito Bulat-Ag, multicab driver; Dexter Barlizo, 12; Jomar Barlizo, 13; and Jimuel Salazar, 15, all residents of Bacoor City, Cavite.
Other passengers injured in the 3 a.m. crash were Russel Barlizo, 11; John Paul Barlizo, 22; Eliza Tolentino, 15; Allen Barlizo 9; Emily Langbay, 38; Elvis Ledesma, 50; Junjie Ompoc 38; and Jean Cristy Ompoc, 8. Only passenger Hector Lagat, 40, was miraculously unscathed, said SPO3 Creus.
The passengers had rented the vehicle for a family outing in Calatagan, Batangas but never reached their destination.
The prober said it seemed that Bulat-Ag was driving at high-speed but unfamiliar with the route, so the vehicle rammed right into the circle island.