we we're supposed to go to the Divine Mercy hill in El Salvador City (near Cagayan de Oro)... Around 1am, that's 5hours into our trip (it was supposed to be a 12-hr roadtrip), we were all awaken by the plunging and flying feeling of our Strada, there were several loud and hard thuds until we stopped... my initial thought was that we're falling into a ravin... it was such a relief that after we stopped what we saw in front was a house (our headlight was still on) and that we did not flip over.
My mamang was shouting the driver's name because he seemed unconscious. I checked him out too, and when i heard him crying in pain i felt relieved that he's alive. I looked at the passenger's seat as well, the driver's wife and kid was there... they seemed ok and not in pain, another relieved feeling. Leo got off immediately, i followed him after. We were checking if each other's ok when Nonoy (our driver) stepped out and asked where his brother Aming was. There's just 6 of us inside the pickup, me, my mom, leo, Nonoy, his wife and daughter. His brother opted to ride at the back. We all feared for him after we're getting no response when we were calling his name... Leo tried to trace back where we came from to check if Aming fell somewhere but he cant find him. Mamang, Nonoy and his wife joined the search. I decided to stay in the Strada since i saw people coming already to check on us. I was worried about our stuff and the kid who was also left inside. Brgy tanods arrived and were asking if everyone's ok. We told them about our missing companion. Then we heard one Manang shouting that there's a man in the gutter nearby. They all rushed to him and identified him as Aming. He was unconscious and bleeding in the head. I didnt dare go near, i was still shaking.
I remembered my Ixus camera, I know i was just holding it the whole time just in case there's something i need to capture immediately. It fell during the accident, my mom picked it up and was carrying it around while they were looking for Aming. She returned it to me when she came near me and told me she's still shaking as well. Although I have ixus with me already i still didnt dare take photos...out of respect to Aming's situation. So most photos here were taken hours later, after the sun was up...
The police and ambulance came almost an hour later....good thing Aming's case doesnt seem life threatening at the moment, but he continuosly bleed in the head. Nonoy was holding him in a sitting position to help lessen the bleeding. Aming was really crying in pain.
They all went with the ambulance to take Aming to the nearest hospital. Mamang asked me and leo to stay and wait for Jerry (their company's other driver) to check the damages and pull out the Strada. Since it was still 3am, we decided to get some sleep first. But even before the sun's up we heard voices talking about the accident. We saw some people gathering around the vehicle again around 5am. In fairness, somehow they made us feel safe in the area. They were speaking Bisaya. :-) The house nearby even brought us coffee. :-)
Later, me and leo decided to play crime scene investigators and try to figure out what really happened. Initially we thought that we had a tire problem which made the driver lose control. But we cant see any skid marks on the highway. Tire marks seem to start only when we hit the soil part...
We crashed into their trash first. See the destroyed bamboos on the left of the photo below. Then hit the gutter and then another rock. Check out the rock behind the old lady in white. It was thrown away from the trash area during impact.
The side of the gutter where we initially fell chipped off. I guess after this we hit the displaced rock which sends us flying a little over the ground then fell on huge rocks again and again.
I dunno what Nonoy did that made the vehicle turn sideways when we hit the fence then stopped less than a meter to the cassava plants and just a few meters to a house (which could have been hit!)
3 tires absorbed the impact until we stopped. Mostly the pickup's damage are on the tires and probably whatever's below the vehicle.
This is where we found Aming. This is just near where we stopped. We were thinking that he might have tried to jump but had a bad fall instead.
We are still greatful we had the accident in that area. The gutter was narrow and the place is quite plain and no house was affected. If we ended up on the other side of the road, we could have hit houses. Or if we had the accident few meters futher into the highway, it would have been a steep fall on a wider cemented gutter. We could have ended with more injuries.
Very traumatic day... I felt scared even during the motorcycle ride me and leo had to look for a place to eat. Even during the ambulance ride to Zamboanga (we decided to take Aming to Ciudad Medical Zamboanga instead for a better neuro-surgeon). You can just imagine how we've felt when right after Ipil our ambulance suddenly had a flat tire while running. We suddenly crossed to the other lane... Good thing there's no vehicle there at that time and the driver was able to control us back to the right lane before we stopped. I had my senses on alert mode even after we changed tires and went on.
This is my first time to be in a vehicular accident... and i really really hope there's no more next.
Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur
01 April 2010
Camera: Canon Digital Ixus 70