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Officers from the Mambajao police municipal station in Mambajao, Camiguin, collect data around a van that figured in an accident in the town late Saturday afternoon. Three people died in the crash. (photo by Jigger J. Jerusalem)

Van driver in Camiguin crash faces charges over three deaths

By JIGGER JERUSALEM
Correspondent .

MAMBAJAO, Camiguin– Police yesterday said charges were being prepared against the driver of the van that crashed and caused the death of three people in Sitio Quipasa, Barangay Poblacion, this town over the weekend.

The van’s driver Joy Sobremisana would be charged with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, said Mambajao police chief Capt. Arnold Gaabucayan.

“We are just waiting for the hospital to issue death certificates before we endorse the complaint to the prosecutor’s office,” he said.

Investigators said the van was full of passengers, most of them employees of the call center company Ibex Global Davao based in Davao City, when it lost its brake and crashed.

The passengers were in Camiguin for a team-building activity. They just came from visiting a spring in Poblacion when the incident happened.

Those who died were identified by the police as Julie Ann Mae Oliva, Jovert de Asis, and Ian Jumahali.

The survivors are now recuperating and are awaiting advice from the Mambajao Provincial Hospital management before they could be discharged, Gaabucayan said.

The survivors were Eric Opao, Jeffry Golingay, Ernesto Ong, Rose Ann Balaba, Jeffrey Dismas, Peter Anthony Cantila, Glyn Ann Sabacan, Jenny Vic Morensillo, Rustom Porosuelo, and a four-year-old child.

Balaba, one of the injured, is still at the hospital’s intensive care unit, he said, adding that the patient is in critical condition although attending physicians have noted her brain activity is stable.

Gaabucayan said doctors are waiting for Balaba’s condition to improve before she could be transferred to a medical facility in Cagayan de Oro, possibly to undergo an operation.

Balaba sustained serious injuries that resulted from the van’s accident.

The police chief said the families of the victims have arrived in Camiguin and their needs are being addressed by their employer.

Mambajao mayor and Camiguin governor-elect Jurdin Jesus Romualdo said he got in touch with the victims’ families to personally inform them of the situation right after the accident.

Romualdo said he also made sure that the victims are well taken care of.

Based on a report, the white Toyota Hi-Ace van ferrying the vacationers lost its brake causing it skid off the road at around 4:45 in the afternoon Saturday in Sitio Quipasa, Barangay Poblacion, this town, said Lt. Col. Roy Bahian, Camiguin provincial police chief.

Due to the impact of the crash, three of the passengers died on the spot, Bahian said, adding that most of those on board sustained serious injuries.

Based on the initial investigation, the van’s brake malfunctioned as it went downhill causing it to crash into an open field.

Gaabucayan said the group arrived in the island-province Saturday morning and toured for a bit before proceeding to Saay cold spring in Poblacion.

“They had no guide. Their plan was to go to the White Island but since it was already afternoon, they decided to go to Saay,” he said.

The police chief said they did not stay long at the cold spring. They were en route to the town center when the van suddenly lost its brake, he said.

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