7 die, 44 hurt in Pagadian City highway accident

ZAMBOANGA CITY–Seven persons died while 44 others were injured in a vehicular accident in Pagadian City, the capital of Zamboanga del Sur, police reported Wednesday.

Chief Supt. Edwin de Ocampo, deputy regional director for administration (DRDA), said the incident happened around 11 a.m. Wednesday in Purok Bajada, Barangay Dao, Pagadian City.

De Ocampo identified the fatalities as Dato Genecan, 15; Joselito Genecan, 50; Ernesto Genecan, 48; Mary Joy Genecan, 42; Pecay Florencion Jr., 38; Lenda Baowan, 65; and, Jelou Macatolad, 13. They were declared dead on arrival by the attending physician.

Those wounded were taken to the Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center for treatment.

De Ocampo said investigation showed the victims were aboard a jeep that fell on its side after the driver lost control of the steering wheel while navigating on a descending road in Barangay Dao, Pagadian City.

He said the driver claimed to have lost control of the steering wheel since the brake of the jeep malfunctioned.

The jeep, with passengers over its capacity, was traveling to Pagadian City coming from Barangay Cogonan, Labangan at the time of the accident.

De Ocampo added that most of the passengers are beneficiaries of the government’s Pantawid Pmilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), who are on their  way to claim their cash grant. Teofilo Garcia, Jr/PNA-northboundasia.com