Case vs driver of car found in fatal 3-car crash in Garapan dismissed


Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho on Friday dismissed the charges against Yi Wang, a 53-year-old Chinese teacher who was found at fault by traffic investigators in the three-car crash near Sugar King Park in Garapan that left one person dead and two others injured.

Camacho dismissed without prejudice the traffic case charging Wang with homicide by vehicle, driving on highways laned for traffic, and failure to signal, after assistant attorney general Emily S. Cohen, counsel for the government, orally moved to dismiss the case.

Dismiss without prejudice means the government may re-file the case in the future.

The scheduled preliminary hearing on Friday did not push through after Cohen moved to dismiss the case, saying the government needs more time to investigate the case.

Attorneys Bruce Berline and Benjamin Petersburg, counsel for Wang, did not object to the motion.

Camacho granted the motion and ordered that the $2,500 cash bail that Wang posted shall be exonerated and his passport and other travel documents be released to him.

Police arrested Wang last Jan. 10 after Romeo Sumilang, the 53-year-old passenger of a pickup truck who was tossed into the air and landed on the pavement, died in the hospital that morning. Sumilang, a Filipino construction worker, suffered severe head injuries, according to traffic investigator Norris Kwon.

Traffic investigators determined that Wang, the driver of the blue 2005 Toyota Matrix five-door wagon, caused the three-car crash that happened near Sugar King Park at noon last Jan. 7.

Sumilang was the passenger on the bed of a white 1990 Toyota Hilux pickup truck.

The truck’s driver, Abad S. Santos, 45, a Filipino, was treated at the hospital due to pain to the left shoulder and was later released.

The truck’s front right passenger was Santos’ brother, Arnel S. Santos, 53, who was treated at the hospital due to pain on the chest and lower extremity, and later released.

The driver of a blue Honda Civic, a 47-year-old local female, was not injured.

According to traffic investigator Kwon, during an interview with police officer Juan Mendiola at the scene, Wang admitted to entering the Chalan Pale Arnold Road after visiting a nearby hardware store, then switching lanes from outer to inner lane in his attempt to make a left turn into Kopa Di Oru Street to head to his residence.

Kwon said Wang was switching lanes from outer lane to inner then attempted to make a left turn into an intersection, which all together is unsafe distance of less than 100 feet.

Wang’s Toyota Matrix, which was lower than the Toyota Hilux pickup truck, struck the truck’s right side undercarriage, causing it to lose balance, tilting to its left side until coming to a final rest upside down.

Sumilang was thrown off the truck’s bed due to the impact from Wang’s car. Sumilang’s head came in contact with the pavement which caused severe head injuries.

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

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