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1 dead, 37 injured as jeep rams tree

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Passengers sitting atop jeepneys have been a regular sight in the provinces, raising valid concerns among those who have witnessed the seemingly disturbing practice.

Yesterday the inevitable occurred when a graduating criminology student, who chose to sit on the roof of the jeepney that was supposed to bring him and the rest of the occupants to a wedding, ended up dead after their vehicle rammed into a coconut tree.

MIMAROPA (Mindoro Oriental and Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) regional police director Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor identified the fatality as Carlo Salino Ferrnacullo.

“He was among those occupying the top portion of the passenger jeepney. All of them on top of the vehicle were thrown away but it was his injury which is fatal,” said Mayor.

The driver of the jeepney, 34-year-old Dennis Torio admitted that he asked most the passengers to alight and push the jeep to get through a steep portion of the road.

The jeep lost its break as it navigated the descending portion of the road and eventually slammed into the tree.

The impact made the jeep to flip over a few times, throwing away Ferrnacullo and injuring 37 other victims including the person who was supposed to get married.

Five of the injured passengers were children aged three to 11, Mayor said, but they were all declared safe.

Most of the victims were sent to the Oriental Mindoro Provincial Hospital in Calapan City where one of them identified as Ryan Paul Famisan remains in critical condition.

Police meanwhile arrested Torio who will be facing a case of Reckless Imprudence resulting to homicide and multiple serious physical injuries.