New Year’s Day accident: Police chief says Kutsero, PUJ driver may both be at fault
CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES— Both the kutsero or coachman of the tartanilla (horse-drawn cart) and the jeepney driver, who were involved in the New Year’s Day collision in Cebu City that cost a person’s life and injured four others, may be held liable for the deadly accident.
Chief Inspector Randy Caballes, Mambaling Police Station chief, said in an interview on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 that initial investigation showed that both drivers might have contributed to the accident.
Caballes said that the tartanilla driven by Celocia Esteban was moving along the northbound lane when in the opposite direction, the jeepney driven by Christopher Aleson tried to overtake another vehicle which resulted to the jeepney hitting the horse-driven-cart.
Aleson told Caballes that he tried to swerve away from the tartanilla, but the rear portion of his jeepney snagged the ropes of the horse-driven cart snapping the wooden pole holding the horse to the cart.
The wooden pole pierced through the right shoulder to the right torso of jeepney passenger, Jerry Bacalso, 27, killing him on the spot.
Aleson claimed that the tartanilla was outside its lane which was the primary reason why he was not able to avoid the collision.
The kutsero or coachman, Esteban, for his part, placed the blame on Aleson’s overspeeding.
Esteban told police that the jeepney driver was moving too fast from the opposite direction making it impossible for him to avoid the collision.
He also denied reports that he allegedly lost control of the tartanilla after his horse acted wildly, causing it to encroach on the opposite lane.
He also said that the horse only acted wild during the collision prompting him and his three passengers Verna Bolambot, Victoria Gomez, and a 12-year-old girl, to jump out of the carriage.
The three passengers were slightly injured but refused to be brought to the hospital for treatment.
Henry Godorles, a passenger of the jeepney, however, was seriously injured in the accident.
Caballes said that the statements of both the jeepney driver and the kutsero strongly insinuate that both parties were partly at fault in the accident.
“The two of them may face charges of reckless imprudence resulting to damage of properties, physical injuries, and homicide. We will continue investigating the main cause of the collision, ” said Caballes.
He also said that the Mambaling Police Station had coordinated with the establishments along C. Padilla St. which might have closed circuit television (CCTV) footage of the incident.
Meanwhile, the family of Bacalso would like to find out who was really responsible for the accident.
According to Jerry Bacalso’s sister, Julietta Bacalso, Jerry had many plans for 2019 including plans to purchase a motorcycle and to renovate their family home.
Julietta claimed that Jerry was on his way home in Barangay Inayawan after celebrating the New Year with his girlfriend when the accident happened.
Both Esteban and Aleson, who were detained at the Mambaling Police Station, apologized to the Bacalso family for the accident that cost the life of their son and appealed to them not to press
charges against them./dbs
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