SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union: Five of the seven passengers of a public utility jeep (PUJ) narrowly escaped death when they jump-off as it was falling into a 50-foot ravine in Baraoas Village here on Thursday.
Two who got frantic and stayed inside the falling jeep were severely injured.
The five who cheated death and sustained only minor injuries were Emily Nisperos, Rialyn Graycochea, Rosie Graycochea, Francisco Ducusin and Rogelio Ebreo, all from the neighboring Barangay Pacpaco. The two others seriously injured were Wilma Ducusin, 35, and Irene Bancuyo, 33. They were all brought to the Ilocos Training Regional Medical Center for treatment.
Investigators said driver Arnulfo Galvez parked the jeepney (ACE-934) beside the road to unload a sack of animal feeds. Going back he started the engine but alighted again to pick up something from his house leaving the engine running.
Galvez claimed he put the break in neutral gear when he restarted the engine but he did not notice it moved forward when he got off and the passengers panicked as the jeepney headed down the deep ravine.
His jeepney was heavily damaged.
Baraoas Vilage is a remote area and 30-minute drive from the city proper and passes through zigzag roads and deep ravines.