6 dead, 7 hurt in Zamboanga del Norte highway road incident

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Six persons were killed while seven others were badly hurt when the driver of a wayward hauler truck rammed an ambulance in Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte on Wednesday, June 29.

Col. Rodrigo Maramo, Zamboanga del Norte police director, on Thursday identified five of the six fatalities as Mario Macatual, Joseph Lopena, Analisa Maribojoc, Princess Gold Ejan Sangilan and Julie Jay Sumonglay.

In an initial statement Wednesday, the Sindangan Municipal Police Station said six persons perished in the incident, one of them still being identified by probers.

The victims were together in an ambulance, driven by Joseph Lopena, from Liloy town in Zamboanga del Norte, en route to Dipolog City in the same province when the road incident happened.

The ambulance was hit head-on by a hauler truck while its driver was maneuvering through a sharp curve in a stretch of a highway in Sitio Guisokan in Barangay Doña Josefa in Sindangan.

The injured truck driver Mario Macatual said the brake system of his six-wheeler hauler unit malfunctioned, causing the crash.

“My truck veered to the left lane so we hit the ambulance coming from the opposite end of the highway, “he said in Cebuano vernacular.

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Maramo has confirmed that seven persons, among them Macatual and his helpers, were rushed to hospitals due to serious injuries caused by the highway mishap. (John Unson with Paolo Antonio Manaytay)

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