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Death in Astorga crash now 14

The death toll in the Astorga road crash is now 14 as another one died in the hospital.

Case investigator SPO1 Joshua Hezron Aznar said the latest fatality, Ariel Entero Cana, died around 6 p.m. on Sunday as declared by the attending physician of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC).

Franklin Baker, the company that reportedly hired all the victims under a manpower agency, gave financial assistance to the victims’ family yesterday.

Relatives of each fatality reportedly received a total of P20,000 – P10,000 from Franklin Baker and P10,000 for the manpower agency.

The TIMES tried to contact the company but got no reply.

A Hino van loaded with at least 15 Franklin Baker workers, mostly contractual, on their way to work hit a 10-wheeler truck along the national highway in Sitio Lantawan, Barangay Astorga, Sta Cruz, Davao del Sur at 12:25 p.m. on Sunday.

Twelve persons were killed on the spot and another one expired even before reaching the hospital. Cana expired Sunday night.

Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz, the spokesperson of Police Regional Office (PRO) XI, said three persons are still at the Southern Philippines Medical Center for medical treatment.

Twelve of the 13 fatalities were identified as Jonathan Dadong, Niña Itchon, Jayson Tusan, Recmar Bautista, Maria Fe Regino, Roy Pleños Itchon, Joel Cedeño, Dursan Adlog, Rannie Cabal, Alfredo Beringuel, Vicente Sanico, and Ron Gie Rada. One is still unidentified and unclaimed.

Still at the hospital are Abienjie Lumanta, Aixa Puna and driver Efren Presores.

Truck driver Theodoro Batiocan, 29, of Barangay Kalanganan, Cotabato City is facing reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, despite investigation revealed it was the van that hit the truck.

Based on the report, the van (plate number ACV 3970) was going north bound, while the truck (plate number RHE 304) was on the opposite side.

The van, reportedly owned by Franklin Baker under Dames Agency, was reportedly over speeding and overshot a curve at the highway. It resulted to a head-on collision with the truck.

The truck, transporting steel and other hardware materials, came from Davao City and was bound to Cotabato City.

Franklin Baker is a Sta. Cruz-based manufacturer and exporter of desiccated and processed coconut products.
Sta. Cruz is the boundary town of this city on its southern part

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