Tree crushes SUV, family unharmed

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    MABALACAT CITY – A family of five was miraculously saved after a huge acacia tree fell on their sports utility vehicle at the height of heavy rains which was compounded by gale force winds along the MacArthur Highway in Barangay Mabiga here last Sunday.

    Poblacion Barangay Captain Mario Tiglao, his wife and their 26- year old daughter, their seven-year old granddaughter and their three-year old ward were virtually unharmed after a huge acacia tree fell on their Mitsubishi Montero while negotiating the MacArthur Highway on their way to church at around 5 p.m. last Sunday.

    The SUV was a total wreck while the victims were pulled out by bystanders from their vehicle.

    Tiglao was momentarily pinned on the driver’s seat until he was rescued by bystanders who pulled him out to safety. He suffered minor scratches on his arms and complained of a back ache.

    “Pasalamat kami keng Apung Ginu enake peburen. Alang menasakit kekami (We thank the God for not abandoning us. No one was seriously hurt among us),” said Tiglao’s wife while waiting for the ambulance to take them to the hospital for check-up.

    The accident happened at the height of the heavy rains and gale force winds where at least three huge acacia trees fell across the highway rendering it impassable. Traffic was stalled for at least two hours.

    North bound traffic was rerouted to the nearby Lemen’s Subdivision but the outbound at Green Meadows Phase 2 leading to the highway had another tree blocking the way.

    Southbound motorists maneuvered to a small portion of the road shoulder past the fallen trees or turn back to Clark or the NLEx.

    Mayor Marino “Boking” Morales, who sent an ambulance for the victims and a clearing team equipped with chainsaws in the area, said the recent diggings of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) exposed the roots of the acacia trees which have considerably weakened their grip on the ground.

    He said he will immediately call a meeting with the DPWH, the Save the Trees Coalition and other stakeholders to come up with what to do.

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