7 tourists killed, 3 hurt in Alegria road accident
Ermida Q. Moradas (The Freeman) - January 21, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Seven US-Filipino medical practitioners who were on a brief vacation in Cebu died while three others are in critical condition after a van crashed into a mahogany tree yesterday noon in Barangay Legaspi, Alegria.

Police Officer 3 Eduard Bellarte said that the 10 victims, whose real names haven't been confirmed yet as of this writing, were on a tour around the southern Cebu before they were set to conduct a medical mission on Camiguin Island in Mindanao on Monday.

Allegedly, the victims hired the van for the tour, a Grandia owned and driven by Gilbert dela Cruz, 44, a resident of Barangay Guiwanon, Argao.

Bellarte said that as per the account of Dela Cruz, they were on their way to Kawasan Falls in Badian from Oslob town when the accident occurred.

Dela Cruz told police that he suddenly fell asleep while driving and was only awakened when they crashed into a big mahogany tree standing just beside the barangay hall in Barangay Legaspi. The tree is estimated to be more than 10 years old.

"Ang iyang ingun nga nakatulog daw siya unya pagmata niya mao to nabanga na sa mahogany," said Bellarte.

He added that they are now verifying whether the driver was drunk when the incident occurred.

The ten passengers were immediately brought to the nearest hospital, but seven of them were declared dead on arrival by the attending physician, while the other three were assessed to be in critical conditions and were referred to a private hospital in Cebu City.

On the other hand, Bellarte said that Dela Cruz only suffered minor injuries in his leg.

"Maayo gyud tawon'g pagkapipi sa atubangan nga bahin sa van," said Bellarte, describing the state of the van as a result of the crash.

Dela Cruz is now under the custody of Alegria police pending for any formal complaint that may be filed by any of the families of the victims. (FREEMAN)

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