A passenger transporter van rammed a large tree along the national highway in the town of Matalam, North Cotabato early Saturday morning.
Matalam police chief Inspector Elias Colonia, said the latest reported fatality from the accident died at the Cotabato Province Hospital just hours ago.
So far only four of the nine fatalities have been identified. They include 28-year-old Nor Canda of Plang Village in Kabacan; Lyle Rodolph Octaviano (age and address unknown at this time); 40-year-old Juliet Debalosan of Davao City and Haydee Gubaton of Pigcawayan, Cotabato.
Police say they are having a difficult time identifying the rest of the victims as the van and it’s contents were scattered along the highway.
Police say the driver of the white Toyota HiAce van fled the scene of the accident and is still on the run. He is Brendo Singco from the town of Pikit.
Van conductor Jebon Policarpio said the driver and his 17 passengers left the Ecoland Terminal in Davao City at midnight on Friday. They made a stop in Kidapawan City where everyone offloaded for food and coffee.
The police are looking for the van driver, Brendo Singco. He was last seen boarding a motorcycle a few minutes after the accident. Singco was headed back to the town proper of Matalam when seen leaving the scene of the accident.
The nine victims of the accident are now at Collado Funeral Parlor in the village of Matalam.
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