Passenger killed in Kagman car accident

CNMI’s second traffic fatality of 2020

The CNMI saw its second traffic fatality this year after a car ran off the road in Kagman over the weekend and slammed into a concrete culvert, with the driver and three other passengers all sustaining injuries.

According to Department of Public Safety spokesperson Dre Pangelinan, the accident across the Joeten Supermarket in the village of Kagman last Saturday resulted in one death. As per routine procedure, the police declined to disclose the victim’s gender, saying they still need to notify the victim’s first of kin.

Pangelinan said that speed, alcohol, and drugs contributed to the fatal crash. The investigation of the accident remains ongoing.

DPS has yet to confirm whether the run-off at Suicide Cliff over a week ago was a traffic fatality or a suicide. The case remains under investigation.

According to a press release yesterday, DPS received a 911 call at about 11:45pm last Saturday, reporting an auto run-off incident across the Joeten Supermarket in Kagman. At the scene, police met with the vehicle’s driver, who stated that the vehicle’s brakes had stopped functioning.

The driver told police that there was a vehicle in front of them that was traveling in the same direction and another oncoming vehicle in the opposite lane. The driver then allegedly decided to drive on the shoulder of the road, before veering into the water drainage. The vehicle continued traveling down before hitting a slab culvert.

The operator and the four passengers were all transported to the Commonwealth Health Center to be checked for their injuries. The driver sustained a fractured right clavicle, while three other passengers sustained an abrasion, facial contusion, and one claimed to have pain to the head. The fourth passenger sustained blunt force trauma to the head and was pronounced dead by Dr. Matt Nelson at about 1:15am.

The CNMI saw its first traffic-related fatality last October along As Terlaje Hill, when a car slammed into the accident-prone traffic signal lamp post at the Northern Marianas College intersection. The crash occurred on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, at about 8:24pm at the Chalan Monsignor Guerrero and Chalan Tun Antonio Apa intersection streetlight on As Terlaje Hill. The victim’s vehicle, a blue four-door sedan, sustained extensive damage on the front.

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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