Saturday, December 18, 2010

SUV plunges off Bacolod port, 1 dead

A sales representative was killed after his sports utility vehicle (SUV) plunged into the sea at the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. port early Friday.

Killed was Rolly de Pedro, 28, of Bago City, a sales representative of molasses trading firm SVG Philippines Inc.

De Pedro was also a registered nurse, according to a report Saturday on news siteVisayan Daily Star.

De Pedro was rushed to the Riverside Medical Center where he was declared dead on arrival.

Police are looking into whether he was drunk when the accident happened as there was an empty bottle of beer in the vehicle.

Initial investigation showed de Pedro, who came from a Christmas party, was driving his service vehicle Isuzu trooper (with plate number WSC-212) and was on his way to his office at the BREDCO port when the accident happened.

Sammy Alcala, de Pedro’s co-employee said that after their Christmas party, they had gone to the MO2 Disco Pub and left the place at almost 3 a.m.

Alcala said de Pedro took him to his home in Granada village and that was the last time Alcala saw de Pedro alive.

Police theorized de Pedro may have miscalculated a turn and drove straight into the water.

Bacolod City police traffic management head Chief Inspector Levy Pangue said de Pedro may have tried to step on the brakes of the vehicle as skid marks were seen in the area, but it may have been too late.

Witnesses and security guards at the port said they heard a loud screech followed by the splash in the water and saw the vehicle sinking into the sea.

The guards said they did not know why de Pedro returned to his office so early in the morning.

Philippine Coast Guard Bacolod chief Lt. Cmdr. Godofredo Vagilidad, said they received a call at about 3:30 a.m. from a crew member of the M/V Norcon Davao that was docked at the BREDCO port.

Vagilidad and six other PCG members dove into the sea and saw the vehicle, but because there was zero visibility, they failed to see the body of de Pedro immediately.

De Pedro’s body was retrieved from the back of the vehicle as it was being raised out of the water at about 7:45 a.m. Friday.

The Isuzu trooper was finally removed from the water at about 8:15 a.m., almost five hours after it plunged 20-feet into the sea.

The windshield of the Isuzu trooper was shattered and the windows were open, Vagilidad said.

Rescuers retrieved two cellular phones, the victim’s wristwatch, a laptop computer, an umbrella, slippers, a refractometer, a Greenfield steel valve, shoes and wallet which contained his identification cards and P1,820 cash.

It was the second incident where a SUV fell into the sea at the same port.

Last January, an SUV fell into the sea in the same area. Rescuers retrieved the nude bodies of a businessman and a nursing student from the vehicle. — TJD, GMANews.TV

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