Apayao mayor dies in freak car accident

PAGUDPUD, Ilocos Norte, June 23—A freak road accident claimed the lives of a lady mayor of Apayao province and her bodyguard when a red Montero SUV they were riding in rammed a tree after it bumped an stray carabao that suddenly crossed the road in Brgy. Pasaleng, this town at about 1:00 a.m. yesterday dawn, police reported.

Lawmen identified the fatalities as Mayor Betty Versola of Luna, Apayao and her bodyguard Marlon Taclibon. She expired at the hospital due to severe body injuries while the security aide died on the spot, police report said.

Treated at the hospital for injuries were identified as Vice Mayor-elect Josie Bangsil, municipal planning officer Millet Agustin and Benito Ildefonso Jr., the driver. All were declared out of danger.

Investigators said the victims’ vehicle was cruising the national highway in Brgy. Pasaleng, this town when their SUV bumped the stray carabao that dashed into the road. The driver lost control of the steering wheel causing the vehicle to ram a narra tree on the roadside. The SUV was in total wreck due to strong impact.

The survivors said the mayor’s group was on their way home to Apayao when the accident occurred. They came from Baguio City where they attended a conference.respective areas
As deterent to similar road mishap, Ilocos Norte provincial veterinarian Dr. Loida Valenzuela said that she would ask the Sangguniang Panglalawigan to pass a measure that will task all barangay officials to regulate and control stray animals in their respective areas noting that Cebu province had already adopted this measure.

The animals include not only cattle but also goats, sheep and dogs, she told reporters.