For the second time in a short span of three weeks, tragedy struck the Filipino community in Alberta anew over the weekend, as another deadly car crash east of Rocky Mountain House claimed the lives of three Filipino temporary workers and injured another.
The accident comes on the heels of a similar car crash on November 22, in Leduc, also in Alberta, which left four Filipino workers dead.
The three fatalities in this latest tragedy were identified as Napoleon Orbigo, 28, an employee at Panago pizza parlor; Blesilda Capule, 28, who worked at Dairy Queen in Rocky Mountain House; and Ruben Deogracias, 34, also was employed at Dairy Queen. The fatalities were brought to the Rocky Mountain House Funeral Homes.
According to community sources, Orbigo and Capule were only married last Sept. 20, 2014. The latter arrived in Canada only last December 2012.
The fourth victim, the driver, Jeomar Abullar, survived, and is now treated for “non-life-threatening” injuries at the University of Alberta hospital. He also works at Dairy Queen.
Investigators believe human error was a factor in the crash.
The victims, according to news sources, came from an English as a Second Language (ESL) class in Red Deer and were driving back to Rocky Mountain House when the Ford Mustang they were riding lost control. The car hit a ditch, then was rammed from behind by a five-ton truck carrying two men as it was trying to regain control.
Esmeralda Agbulos, Philippine honorary consul general based in Edmonton, is leading the Alberta Filipino community in mobilizing support for the victims and their families.
Agbulos assisted in organizing funeral arrangements for four Filipino temporary workers Eva Caperina, Rosalina Tipdas, Archie Bermillo and Romil Mose who died near Leduc three weeks ago.