1 killed, 3 others seriously hurt after wayward logging truck rammed into vehicles in Surigao
by Ben Serrano
November 28, 2010

            BUTUAN CITY (PNA) - A gold panner was killed while three others seriously hurt after a fully loaded ten wheelers logging truck losses  its brake, ran wayward and rammed into multi-cab, tricycle and two single motorcycles along descending national highway at crowded commercial area Barangay Poblacion Barobo, Surigao del Sur Thursday afternoon, belated police report reaching this region’s capital said.

            Barobo, Surigao del Sur is more than 90 kilometers away from Butuan City, the region’s capital.

            Caraga police regional information office report identified the casualty victim as Elizabeth Jasis Mercader, 35, gold panner and a resident of Barobo town.

Seriously hurt in the freak road accident were Junito Lumontad, Roland Matabalan and Junnel Ronquillo Timon, all of legal ages and immediately brought to Agusan del Sur Provincial Hospital in Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur for medical treatment, police said.

            The logging truck driver identified as Arturo Valeriano Coralat, 38, married and resident of Tagbina town voluntarily surrendered to Barobo Police.

            Initial investigation result showed the logging truck fully loaded with falcata logs was traveling along national highway and when it reached the descending part of the road the truck’s brake systems malfunctioned thus it losses control and rammed into said vehicles.

            Some of the victims were boarding said vehicles at the time of the accident.

            Casualty victim Mercader was hit rampaging logging truck and falcata logs. Luckily, people stand by at the road pavement sensing something went wrong with the logging truck speedily ran away from the scene to safer grounds.

            The logging truck including its loads finally bumped into concrete road pavement and canals that were also damaged.

            The falling rampaging falcata logs aside from hitting people also hit vehicles and properties at the side of the road.

            The logging truck involved in the accident bearing plate number GPU 438 is owned by Graciano Q. Numeron a resident of Purok 5, Tagongon, Tagbina, Surigao del Sur.

            Long time ago, residents along national highway criticized the Caraga PNP Highway Patrol Group for not apprehending logging trucks who continuously violating road laws involving logging and cargo trucks for overloading.

            Aside from overloading, the length and width of cargo logs exceeded too much protruding too much from the width and length of the trucks that sometimes caused danger to other motorists and pedestrians sometimes hit by protruding logs.

            Concerned citizens alleged that while checkpoints installed by PNP Highway Patrol Group, DENR and LGU were aplenty along national highway in Caraga region it failed to apprehend violators who endlessly continue to ply the national highway dangerously everyday.

            Critics called the checkpoints in the past and until now as “CASHPOINTS” the reason why violations continue now already cost lives. But this is not the first time same accident occurred as overloading already deaths to many in the region. (PNA/Ben Serrano)