MATALAM, North Cotabato — A three-vehicle smashup killed three persons and injured eight others along the highway in this town, police said Tuesday.
Chief Insp. Bryan Placer, head of the local police, said the smashup involving a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), “Bongo-type” drop-side truck, and a tricycle happened in Barangay Kilada at about 1:45 p.m. Monday.
Placer identified the fatalities as Edilbert Dumpit Gawat, 40, and Veronica Dumpit Gawat, 76, both of Barangay Banawag, Kabacan, North Cotabato, and Yhaser Kinala, 15, of Barangay Matilac, Pigcawayan, also in North Cotabato.
Injured were Charlene Gawat, 36, of Banawag, Kabacan; Hasim Kidi Kinala, 24, Esmael Mohammed, 21, and Haron Kinala, 19, of Pigcawayan, North Cotabato; Salip Allahibar, 46, Randy Misil, 36, Bakil Jundan 45, and Salip Hieber, 33, all from Zamboanga City.
Placer said investigation showed the SUV driven by Ridznul Tandih, 34, collided with the tricycle and truck one after the other while heading for Davao City coming from Zamboanga City.
He said Tandih admitted to have fallen asleep since he had been driving for more than 12 hours already when as they left Zamboanga City at about 1 a.m. Monday. With him on the SUV were Allahibar, Misil, Jundan, and Hieber.
Placer said the passengers of the tricycle and truck were thrown overboard brought about by the impact of the collision.
The two Gawats who died and Charlene, who was wounded were in the tricycle. The rest of the victims were passengers of the truck.
Tandih has been placed under the custody of the local police while charges for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide are being prepared against him. Edwin Fernandez /PNA-northboundasia.com