Car flips as distracted driver runs off highway


This screengrab from video shows the accident. (FERDIE DE LA TORRE)

A single-vehicle accident along Chalan Pale Arnold Road in Garapan yesterday morning that caused a car to flip on its side was reportedly due to the driver allegedly being on the phone.

At around 10am yesterday, a Toyota RAV 4 ran off the highway along Chalan Pale Arnold Road in Garapan and flipped on its side next to a ditch in front of Rainbow Motel.

According to Department of Public Safety spokesperson Adrian Pangelinan, the accident was a “single vehicle accident,” meaning no other cars were involved.

The car was traveling north before it went off the road and crashed into a nearby drainage barrier. Pangelinan said the accident was caused by “distracted driving” and it is believed that the driver was using a cell phone while driving the car.

Police allegedly arrived on scene a few moments after the accident and, as of 11am, the scene remained under investigation.

At around 2pm that same day, Department of Public Safety spokesperson Adrian Pangelinan said there were no fatalities from the accident, but the driver was transported to the Commonwealth Health Center for minor injuries sustained from the crash.

Back in 2020, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres signed House Bill 21-35, now Public Law 21-17, which essentially bans the use of electronic devices while operating a vehicle. With this law, police officers may stop and issue a citation to a driver who is observed violating the law. The new law provides for a minimum fine of $300 for first offense and $500 for second offense.

The law, however, exempts emergency responders from using mobile electronic devices while operating an authorized emergency vehicle in the scope of his or her duties.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at
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