3 sue over fatal 3-car crash


Three persons have filed a lawsuit over a 2016 fatal car crash involving three vehicles at the intersection of Chalan Pale Arnold Highway, or Middle Road, and Kopa Di Oru Street near Sugar King Park in Garapan.

Antonie S. Santos, Abad S. Santos, and Arnel S. Santos are suing Li Wang, the driver of a car, and the truck’s registered owner, Myong Run Corp.

Abad Santos was the driver of a 1990 Toyota Hilux pickup truck with license plate AES-892, while his brother, Arnel Santos, was one of the truck’s two passengers. Antonie S. Santos, who was the owner of the truck, was not in the vehicle at that time of the accident.

The lawsuit did not mention that the second passenger of the truck, 53-year-old Romeo Sumilang, was tossed into the air from the truck’s bed and died a few days later in the hospital.

The lawsuit also did not indicate the types of the three vehicles involved.

According to police records, the victim was aboard a Toyota Hilux pickup, while Wang’s car was a Toyota Matrix five-door wagon. The third vehicle was a Honda Civic being driven by a woman who was not injured.

The Santoses, through counsel Catherine Cachero, want Wang and Myong Run Corp. held liable to pay them damages. They also demanded attorney’s fees and court costs.

According to Cachero, Abad Santos was driving the truck on Jan. 7, 2016, and was going south on the inner lane of Middle Road when Wang suddenly changed lanes and collided with the truck. The lawyer said this caused the truck to flip over, completely damaging the truck and seriously injuring Abad and Arnel Santos.

The two were rushed to the Commonwealth Health Center.

According to a police report, Sumilang, who was sitting in the bed of the pickup truck and thrown on the pavement, was found unconscious with a laceration on the head and abrasions. He died a few days later in the hospital.

No one was injured in the two other vehicles, which only had moderate damage.

According to witnesses, Wang came from the parking area of a hardware store and a restaurant across the Garapan Central Park. He entered Middle Road and went to the inner lane to turn left toward the corner of Kopa Di Oru Street.

The Toyota pickup, which traveling south on the inner lane of Chalan Pale Arnold, hit Wang’s car on the left side. The truck lost control and flipped over.

The truck also hit the left driver’s side of a northbound Honda Civic.

Less than two weeks later after the accident, the Superior Court dropped the charges against Wang, despite being found at fault by traffic investigators, after then-assistant attorney general Emily S. Cohen moved to dismiss the case. Cohen said the government needed more time to investigate the case.

According to a traffic investigator, Wang said he switched lanes from outer to inner lane in his attempt to make a left turn into Kopa Di Oru Street to head home.

A police officer said they are wondering why the Office of the Attorney General has yet to re-file the case against Wang when they have already completed their investigation.

As of press time yesterday, Chief Prosecutor Michelle Harris had yet to reply to Saipan Tribune for comments.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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