Danao tragedy: Family involved in fatal road collision may have been in Cebu for a vacation
CEBU CITY, Philippines – They were supposed to spend their vacation here. Instead, tragedy struck the Mondejar family on Tuesday, February 21, 2023.
Three of the four members of the Mondejars perished in a road collision in Barangay Dunggoan, Danao City at noon on Tuesday.
Investigation continues to determine the real reason behind the tragedy that claimed the lives of Erwin Bacalso Mondejar, his wife Imelda Mondejar, and their daughter, Erin Bliss.
Their eldest son, Imer Betelgeuse, was the lone survivor of the accident in Danao involving a black Mitsubishi Mirage G4 and a wing van.
Witnesses and authorities found out that the family, who hails from Macrohon town in Southern Leyte, may have been planning to spend their holidays here.
The Mondejar family came to Cebu initially to oversee a land deal.
Hours before the tragedy, the family made a stop over at Carmen town to visit a popular zoo, based on the items traffic investigators retrieved from the site where their black sedan crashed.
Some relatives told police that the Mondejars were supposed to head to Daanbantayan, on the northernmost tip of the island, for the land negotiations.
However, they decided to go south, to Brgy. Pardo, Cebu City, to visit relatives after receiving information that their itinerary up north was postponed.
While the Mondejars drove their way to the capital, Nolin Batobalonos and Roldan Dino Guerra, the driver and truck boy of the wing van that figured in Tuesday’s fatal accident, just finished eating their lunch.
They barely hit the road again when they spotted a black sedan speeding towards them from the opposite lane, said Guerra.
Guerra also said their truck did not counterflow, and that they were still gaining speed when the Mondejars’ car came into their view.
“Gikan pa naniudto unya nag park mi gikan. Aginod pa gyud among dagan. Wa sad to siya (black sedan) mu overtake kay hawan kaayo ang dalan. Pero di mada, kusog kaayo sila ug padagan gyud,” Guerra told DYHP in a live interview.
(We came from having lunch parked beside the road. We were still driving slow. [The black sedan] also did not overtake because the road was clear. But he was driving too fast.)
He said the sedan crashed into the driver’s side of the truck before crashing onto a nearby mango tree.
Batobalonos, the truck driver from Sta. Fe town in Bantayan Island, is currently detained at the Danao City Police Station pending further investigation.
Traffic investigators are hoping to recover the dash cam of the totaled car.
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