A family of four riding on a single motorcycle died in a tragic head-on collision with a sports utility vehicle (SUV) Monday along the national road in Barangay Inagawan Sub in Puerto Princesa City.
The police have taken into custody the driver of the SUV for the filing of criminal charges. He was identified as Petty Officer 1st Class (PO1) Victor Baclagon, reportedly a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel residing in Barangay Sta. Monica.
The victims were identified as Jeffrey Mones and Liezel Mones, husband and wife, and their two children, a 10-year-old girl, and a 5-year-old boy.
The initial police report released on August 30 indicated there were only two victims from the motorcycle, as their bodies were found along the road near the accident site. It was later learned, however, that there were four family members on the motorcycle.
The bodies of the mother and the boy were retrieved Tuesday morning, August 31, by relatives in a deep ravine near the accident site.
“Medyo malalim kasi [kung saan tumilapon yong mag-ina] kaya noong mag-rescue kahapon, hindi sila nakita,” Ricky Trobio, a barangay kagawad of Inagawan Sub, who helped in the retrieval of the bodies, said.
The Mones family were said to be en route to Puerto Princesa while the SUV was traveling to Narra when the collision happened. Three other passengers of the SUV, a Ford Ecosport, believed to be relatives of the driver, reportedly suffered injuries and were treated at the Aborlan Medical Hospital.
“Ang sabi ng driver (Baclagon), hindi din niya napansin kung ilan talaga ang sakay, dahil sa bilis ng pangyayari, kasi kahit sila din ay tumilapon at nahulog sa malalim na bahagi ng kalsada, sa gilid ng kalsada sa kanal,” P/Major Alevic Rentino, head of City Police Station 2, told Palawan News.
A relative of the victim, Liezel’s cousin Ellen Canja, said they first thought that the mother and the son rode a shuttle van since they were earlier spotted waiting for a ride on the side of the road.
When they didn’t hear from Liezel, they sought assistance in locating them, she added.
“Ang sabi lang po kasi ng doon sa labasan na nakita si Cheche (the victim’s nickname) at saka ang anak na bunso na nag-aabang sila doon sa labasan, pero walang makapagsabi kung nakasakay sila ng van. Nakita lang sila nakatayo doon. Hindi kasi sila basta basta makikita, kasi ang pagkatilapon niya hindi galing sa baba, kundi galing sa taas, kaya hindi nasira ang damo doon sa harap,” Canja said.
She said their suspicion prompted them to go to the accident site on Tuesday morning to see if they could locate Liezel and her son.
“Nagbaka sakali lang kami ulit doon sa lugar, na baka pumunta silang mag-ina, baka pinuntahan nila, baka nandoon lang sila nakaupo, hanggang yon nga nakita nila ang sapatos na suot ng pinsan ko na nandoon. Tapos sinabihan namin ang mga pinsan namin na lalaki na hanapin lang nila baka may ibang gamit pa na nandoon,” she said.