ATOK, Benguet – Seven people were injured after a north-bound van bumped on a mountain slope while negotiating a sharp curve and fell on its left side along the Halsema highway due to alleged poor visibility along the Halsema highway, particularly at Timbac, Cattubo here at around 8:30 am Saturday.
Superintendent Cherry Fajardo, public information officer of the Police Regional Office (PRO) in the Cordillera, identified the wounded van occupants as Jessica Catalino, 17, Marvilyn Catalino, 25, Felizardo B. Ah-ul, 23, Teresito M. Estino, Gloria M. Ferrer, 53, Pearly Joy M. Ferrer, 17and Bebely B. Marian, 21, all residents of Asin Road and Irisan, Baguio City.
Initial police investigation showed that the Delica van bearing license plate number RCU-236 owned by Wandon Catalino and driven at that time by Baltazar Catalino was on its way to Tinoc, Ifugao to allow the occupants to avail of the on-going registration of voters.
However, upon reaching the said area, the driver was about to maneuver the vehicle to evade another speeding vehicle coming from the opposite direction when it accidentally bumped the mountain slope while negotiating a sharp curve causing it to fell on its side.
The injured van occupants were immediately rushed by responding police operatives of the Atok Municipal Police Station and rescuers to the Atok District Hospital but they were subsequently transferred to the Benguet General Hospital for further medical treatment of the minor injuries they sustained.
Probers are still ascertaining the real cause of the vehicular accident that transpired at the time when there was zero visibility on the way.
By Dexter A. See