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When accidents are inevitable


(BY: REV. BERLIE G. YAP) A ZAMCELCO post, along Tetuan highway, fell yesterday—January 16, early dawn at 3 o’clock, causing three other more posts to fall spontaneously. The first post is a wooden one and has been there for forty years.

The Tetuan Highway was temporarily closed for how many hours, by the authorities, to speed-up the necessary repairs. Certain power feeders were shut then by ZAMCELCO, rendering few barangays of the City in pitch-black darkness yesterday dawn. Power restoration took place at midday. Barangay eMedia was there observing up-close ZAMCELCO’s linemen as all of them doing their best, while under pressure. Those same linemen are few of the many unsung heroes of our time.

Such unwanted scenario is one of the priority efforts of the electric cooperative to immediately reform—the rehabilitation of its power lines, particularly the old wooden posts. Obviously, if they will still be left unattended, they could definitely cause delays or even damages in no given time, like this one. Thank God though, there were no motorists passing at those times, otherwise lives could also be at stake.

It was yet a school day yesterday, thus the closure of the Guiwan-Tetuan juncture created a horrible traffic build-up everywhere. What traffic enforcers prayed were unavoidable road accidents not to happen. When the highway is full, some hard-headed motorists are the ones, on the list, feared to fall to inevitable accidents.

Indeed, there was one in San Roque, a single motorcycle skid under the back wheel of a truck. The truck’s back double wheel run the driver’s arm and instantly amputated it before the eyes of countless of passing motorists and pedestrians in a rush hour, at the intersection of Petron Gas Station, San Roque.

The initial testimony of the folks around, the driver of the truck and a sikad driver was that accordingly the victim was in a hurry driving his motorcycle faster, bumping the sikad which caused his loss of balance that threw him under the truck’s wheel. Meaning, three were three involved in the mishap, namely a truck, a motorcycle and a sikad.

The victim, based on the story around, brought a student to the nearby Regional Science High School, and probably the man had still some chores in the house, hence, he made his way through the traffic build-up, pushing himself in a faster momentum not thinking that his attitude would lead him to the unexpected accident. Poor driver!

Blood were all over, shocking everyone. A certain passing motorist pitied him and disembarked from his car to help the fallen driver. It took some time for the rescue team from the City Health to arrive due to the already worse traffic everywhere.

The truck was carrying quarried sands and gravels from the West Coast. One may imagine how heavier were the weight of the truck. Thus, it caused the immediate amputation of the victim’s arm.

The victim loss ample of blood in the process, he was obviously in excruciation and was beginning to turn pale. If he remained to be unattended medically few more minutes, the hemorrhage could cause his death. Good though, the rescue team, despite the traffic, was able to make its way right on time.

Barangay eMedia was the first and the exclusive media outfit to be around in the incident. Reporter Ely Dumaboc was able to secure right away raw footages and on the spot report flash news about the situation. At the station’s TV studio at that time were partners Rey Bayona Bayoging and GIL Climaco, on board, of the morning program Emedia Mo. The duo was actually monitoring the traffic in Tetuan highway. They were apparently shocked to partner Ely’s reportage. And who would not!

Partner Ely would have to ask the excuse of the TV audience and radio listeners as he was trying to describe in detail the incident. The footage as well showed a very graphic situation which was quite disturbing to the average Zamboangueños watching at that time. Thus, the technical department applied silhouette effects of the live footages.

The accident could not have happened if, first, the terrible traffic wasn’t there and, second, the victim was more careful in his maneuver. Every motorcycle driver must always know that his vehicle has only two wheels, hence, any disturbance around could cause his vehicle to go out of balance, and worse may fall him under the mercy of other passing vehicles, as such was this accident.

Loss of things can be manageable but not the loss of life. It is what our traffic laws are preventing or trying to preserve—the value of human life. As they say, money and physical things can only be replaced anytime, but not life.

The truck driver could be managing very carefully his huge vehicle as presumable so because the traffic build-up was heavy, but in the eyes of law he was still liable civilly or his employer. The police thorough investigation will help determine everything as to place all in the proper perspective.

Barangay eMedia opines that it’s time now also to strictly implement the city ordinance against the entry of sikad vehicles along the national roads and highways. In the case of the mentioned accident, the sikad, indirectly, did also contribute the obstruction in the highway, leading the loss of balance of the victim.

The poor sikad driver was also hurt, good because all he needed were only first aid attentions and not his very life. However, in all honesty he mustn’t be plying there, a national highway, in the first place. What can the police officers do but exempt him in the picture for the liabilities because sikad vehicles don’t have LTO registrations.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.” (Jer. 17:7, ESV)

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