>BACOLOD CITY — Four high school students died on the spot while 20 others were wounded when the public utility vehicle they were riding turned turtle in Sitio Bi-ao, Barangay Dian-ay, Escalante City around 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Police Officer 3 Jason Brignas, head of the Traffic Section of the Escalante police, identified the victims as Sicar Manlanat, Joven Gaudia, Noe Cañete, and Analyn Catubig. All are 16 years old and residents of Sitio Polopongyan, Toboso.
Brignas said that based on the accounts of the driver identified as Walter Yap, 34, the vehicle’s steering wheel went out of control, causing the vehicle to turn turtle three times.
The victims were trapped inside the vehicle and suffered serious wounds, causing their sudden deaths.
Wounded were Arnold Candag, 15; Eduardo Golez, 16; Orlyn Andales, 20; Angelo Andales, 18; JR Sarsuelo, 18; Niel Brian Jison, 15; Hazel Cañete, 16; Stephen Strada, 19; May Gregorio, 39; Roland Catubig, 16; Semar Marinog; Ailyn Novero, 30; Sacarias Simulan; Paul John Santiago Martinez; Sizana Gallo; Yanque Sibulan; Ana Arillo Homokan, 67; Enriquita Magbologtong Fajardo, 47; Ramon Bulanon Jr., 61; and Julie Pabalate, 59.
Most of the victims are residents of Barangay Bug-ang, Toboso.
The vehicle was reportedly from Toboso going to Sagay City.
The victims were brought to a hospital in Barangay Bato, Sagay City. Most of them were discharged after they were treated for minor injuries.
The driver immediately surrendered to Escalante police, said Chief Superintendent Santiago Rapiz. (Teresa Ellera-Dulla)