4 high school studes survive mishap but many schoolmates lose lives

LAOAG CITY, Oct 3 — In what the police described as the worst vehicular accident here in recent memory, at least 9 people, mostly high school students, were confirmed dead while three others were hurt after a passenger jeepney they were riding collided with a 14-wheeler truck in Barangay 18 in Sarrat town around 7:30 a.m. today, the Sarrat police said.

PO1 John Lay Apostol of the Sarrat Philippine National Police said killed were jeepney driver Ludwig de la Cruz and his conductor Glister Romero.

Other victims who either died on the spot or declared dead after taken to the hospital were Evelyn Canonizado and her child Rilley Austin and students Mikee Agbayani, Angelika Cruz, Angelika Malilay, Jeremy Burgos and Jenica Doropan.

Apostol said three others remained in the hospital for treatment namely Joshua Bulibod, Steve bueno and Jane Pumaras.

Initial police reports said the driver of the passenger jeepney, plying the Laoag-Solsona route, was traversing an uphill section of the national road in Sarrat town and tried to overtake another vehicle but failed to see the approaching truck and rammed into it.

Apostol said the passenger jeepney was heading to this city while the truck was heading on its opposite direction. The truck driver Vencio Butac and his companion were both unharmed.

Governor Imee Marcos and Sarrat Mayor Edito Balintona immediately went to the accident site and promised financial support to the victims’ relatives.

“This is a sad day for all of us especially to the victims’ families. We could only offer prayers to those who perished,” Marcos told reporters. (Ma. Cristina C. Arzadon)