WANTED: HIT AND RUN DRIVER
The Cebu City Police Office has launched a manhunt operation against the driver of a sports utility vehicle (SUV) who killed a woman and injured seven others in a hit and run incident in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City at dawn on Sunday.
Chief Insp. Dindo Juanito Alaras, Mabolo Police Station chief, said they were now tracing the person driving a “dark colored” SUV who was the suspect in a hit and run incident that happened near the vicinity of the old Pepsi office in M.J. Cuenco Avenue at past 3 a.m. yesterday.
“Nag tracking na atong mga investigators sa plate number, kun si kinsa ang tag iya, ug si kinsa ang driver atong sakyanan,” Alaras told Cebu Daily News on Sunday.
(Our investigators are now tracking the plate number of the vehicle, who is the owner, and who was the driver of the vehicle)
He said they have began talking to the owners of establishments close to where the incident happened to find out if they have closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras that recorded the incident and would help the police trace the SUV.
A woman in her thirties died while seven other passengers were injured after the public utility jeepney (PUJ) they were riding collided head on with the SUV.
PO3 Venerando Bacalso Jr., investigator on case, said the PUJ, a Suzuki Multicab driven by Elvis Allanic Jr., was traversing M.J. Cuenco Ave. coming from Mandaue City when the SUV suddenly rammed into the jeep.
Bacalso said that Allanic told the police that his PUJ was traversing M.J. Cuenco Ave. when an SUV, which was coming from Tres
Borces Street, suddenly came into the road and rammed his jeep. The SUV was running at full speed and did not slow down even if there was an approaching vehicle, hitting the rear side of the PUJ where the passengers were seated.
“Because of the strong impact of the collision, the PUJ spun and flipped to the right side,” said Bacalso.
A woman, who was still unidentified as of this writing, died on the spot. Her body was fractured in several places, said Bacalso.
The fatality was wearing a green T-shirt and a blue denim shorts. Police said she might be in her thirties.
Her body remained unclaimed at the St. Francis Funeral Homes along N. Bacalso Avenue as of 8 p.m. on Sunday and was marked “Miss X.”
One of the injured passengers, Alexander Yuson, 12, also sustained fractures and bruises and was rushed to the Cebu City Medical Center together with the other injured passengers.
The other injured were identified as Jamil Masida, 17; Adam Ceniza, 31; Joshua Granada, 27; Jhonren Gomera, 21; another female passenger who is also unidentified; and Allanic.
In a separate interview, Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRRMO) head Nagiel Bañacia said the PUJ turned turtle during the impact, causing its passengers including some minors to be thrown outside of the vehicle.
“Kaning mga seriously injured gibalhin na sa Vicente Sotto (Memorial Medical Center). Sila tanan na confined sa hospital,” said Bañacia.
(Those passengers who were seriously injured were transferred to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center. All of them were confined in hospitals)
Alaras said they might have a lead on the SUV after another vehicular incident happened just meters away from the first incident.
“Unahan lang gamay sa nahitabo atong hit and run, naa pud aksidente nahitabo mga five minutes later. Duha ka taxi nasaghiran sa usa kuno ka SUV pud,” said Alaras.
(Just meters away from where the hit and run happened, another accident happened five minutes later. Two taxis were also hit by an SUV)
Alaras said the taxi drivers were able to provide some details about the SUV that hit them but he could not reveal the details as it was still uncertain if it was the same vehicle involved in the hit and run.
“Amo suwayan kun mag match ang description sa SUV sa nibangga sa jeep ug sa SUV nga nisaghid sa duha ka taxi,” said Alaras.
(We will try to find out if the SUV that hit the jeepney will match with the description of the SUV that hit the two taxis.)
The Mabolo Police Station will be asking the help of the Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas (LTO-7) in tracking the SUV, said Alaras.
Don’t drink and drive
Bañacia, meanwhile, noted that vehicular accidents increased during December, particularly with people driving under the influence (DUI).
“By history, sugod gani ang Christmas parties taas tag vehicular incidents. It’s either self inflicted like natumba or nadasmag sa mga poste or nakadasmag og laing sakyanan,” said Bañacia.
(By history, when Christmas parties are starting to happen, vehicular incidents in the city increase. It’s either self inflicted, like the cars turning turtle, or hitting a post, or hitting another vehicle)
Bañacia said that the accident in MJ Cuenco was the fourth vehicular incident in the city that was recorded starting from 9 p.m. of December 8 to 4 a.m. of December 9.
“Daghan kaayo mga insidente niaging gabii. Sagaran gyud na mahitabo is Friday or Saturday night. Kanang weekend,” he said.
(There were many incidents during the past night. Most of the incidents happened during Fridays or Saturdays. During the weekend)
Bañacia once again urged the public not to drink alcoholic beverages if they will be driving.
“Sige lang ta pahinumdum (we keep on reminding the public to) – don’t drive if you drink, or if you drive, just don’t drink at all,” said Bañacia.
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