By Martin Sadongdong
At least 10 persons, including three children, were confirmed dead while six others were injured when a commuter van accidentally rammed into a passenger jeepney in General Santos City Monday afternoon, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported.
A police report reaching PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City identified the victims as Adelandia Calmorin; Ricardo Calmorin, 63; Rosario Calmorin, 60; Merenie Decenorio, 33; Maria Entero, 64; Ricardo Entero Jr., 3; and an unidentified young boy and girl. The victims were declared dead on arrival at Soccsksargen Hospital, Dr. George Royeca Hospital and St. Elizabeth Hospital in General Santos City.
They were passengers of a commuter van with temporary plate number 1201-362523 driven by James Entero, of Purok Cebuano, Malungon, Sarangani Province. He was rushed to St. Elizabeth Hospital after sustaining head and body injuries.
Two jeepney passengers also died in the accident. They were identified as Dominador Calob, 70, and Eduardo Roque, 52, both residents of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. They were declared dead on arrival at Dr. George Royeca Hospital.
Meanwhile, four van passengers were injured, namely: Aisa Mae Entero, 31, who was in a serious condition at St. Elizabeth Hospital; Ivan Carl Entero, 6; Rica Entero; and Sandra Entero. They were rushed to various hospitals for treatment.
Dexter Villarin, 23, the driver of the jeepney (DGF-453), sustained minor injuries and was brought to the local police for questioning.
Chief Insp. Rexor Jake Canoy, chief of General Santos City Traffic Management Unit (TMU), revealed that the commuter van was traversing a wet and slippery road along NHW, Purok 5, Barangay Batomelong, General Santos City around 3:45 p.m. when Entero lost control of the vehicle. Police said one of the van’s tires exploded.
The van suddenly crossed the other lane until it crashed into the speeding jeepney, Canoy said.
The impact of the collision caused a massive damage on the front and side portions of the van and jeepney, and the passengers were crushed inside them, Canoy added. Luckily, both drivers escaped death as they only sustained injuries. However, most of their passengers did not reach the hospital alive.
It was learned that the commuter van was headed to Sarangani from General Santos City but police have yet to establish other details. Meanwhile, the jeepney was headed to General Santos City.
Villarin told police he was about to fetch his relatives to attend a wedding in Davao del Sur on Tuesday when the accident occurred.
Police await for the recovery of the van’s driver before being subjected to an investigation. Meanwhile, charges for multiple murder and multiple physical injuries will be prepared and charged against both or one of the drivers, depending on the result of the probe.