By Calvin Cordova
CEBU CITY – Eight elementary school students and a 40-year-old woman were killed after the mini dump truck they were riding overturned in Boljoon town, southern Cebu.
Police said 17 others, including the driver, Danilo Mendez Niere, were injured in the accident that happened at 7:40 a.m. on Friday in Sitio Lingatong, Barangay Lower Becerril.
Staff Sgt. Nelson Saquibal, investigator of the Boljoon Police Station, said the pupils were from Nangka Elementary School and San Antonio Elementary School.
The pupils were supposed to join the District Nutrition and Cultural Sports Meet, an undertaking by the Department of Education (DepEd).
Police said the truck with license plate SKV 242 was owned by the local government of Boljoon.
Police investigators said Niere was heading to Barangay Upper Becerril to pick up more students when the accident happened.
Police said the driver claimed that he was negotiating a downhill portion of the road when the truck lost its brakes.
To prevent the truck from falling off a cliff, the driver rammed the vehicle into a cliff that caused it to overturn and pin down its passengers.
Police said the fatalities died on-the-spot. The wounded passengers and the drivers were rushed to the town’s health center.
Killed were Jerome Nierre, 11; Mary Ann Filipino, 12; Janna Delos Santos, 12; Clint Isidore Dugang, 10; Victoria Gorozon, 40; Jefferson Jorpo, 11; Alexander Villanueva, 20; Mark Lloyd Mosqueda, 12; and Riza Mae Viñan, 10.
Injured were Angel Ceciban, 10; Elvie Jean Gorozon, 9; Aga Oliveros, 12, Reyan Jhade Bentazal, 10; Lutchie May Romeo Rota, 11; Roy Quadero Endrina, 9; Alexes Mitch Allso, 10; Analyn Legarte, 10; Mark Louie Culanag, Gracia Mae Denuyo, 10; Thea Joy Felipe, 8; Bernie Niere, 11; Roxan May Endrina, 11; Chan Love Mie Endrina; 27; Imee Clear Rivas, 11; and Annrose Niere, 11.