Thirteen died and four others were wounded when a Hino van hit a 10-wheeler truck along the national highway in Sitio Lantawan, Barangay Astorga, Sta Cruz, Davao del Sur at 12:25 p.m. Saturday, June 3.
All the casualties were said to be employees of Franklin Baker, a Sta. Cruz-based manufacturer and exporter of desiccated and processed coconut products.
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.
The others who were still being treated in the hospital were identified as Abienjie Lumanta,
Ariel Entero Caña, Aixa Puna and driver Efren Presores.
Sr. Supt. Samuel Gadingan, the director of Davao del Sur Police provincial office, said the Hino van was driven by Presores while the truck was driven by Theodoro Batiocan, 29, of Barangay Kalanganan, Cotabato City.
Twelve passengers of the van reportedly died on the spot, while the five others were rushed to the hospital. One of the five passengers, identified as Rada, died before arriving at the hospital.
Based on initial report, the van (plate number ACV 3970) was going north bound, while the truck (plate number RHE 304) was on the opposite side.
The truck, transporting steel and other hardware materials, came from Davao City and was bound to Cotabato City.
Driver Batiocan was assisted by Marly Caballero.
The van, reportedly owned by Franklin Baker under Dames Agency, was reportedly overspeeding and overshot a curve at the highway. It resulted to a head-on collision with the truck.
Gadingan said the van driver and four passengers were immediately brought to Digos Provincial Hospital. One of those rushed was declared dead on arrival.
At 2:30 p.m., the surviving four victims were transferred to Digos Doctors Hospital.
From Digos Doctors Hospital, two of the wounded, including Presores, were transferred to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC).
Sta. Cruz is the boundary town of this city in its southern part.