Tragic Diversion Road mishap

By Alex P. Vidal

“Every step of life shows much caution is required.”—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

SAFETY first and foremost. Fun run, marathon, and other races and sports events held in Iloilo City’s Diversion Road and other major thoroughfares should have the proper coordination with the Iloilo City Traffic Management Unit (ICTMU) and other agencies concerned before and during the activities.

If the roads will have to be closed or a rerouting is undertaken, there should be proper signages or prominent warning devices installed in the areas covered by rerouting or closure.

Not all motorists will be aware of what’s going on. If they pass by the roads regularly, they must be properly warned and guided about the changes in the traffic, which is crucial in nighttime, before midnight and the dawn when there’s still darkness.

It’s the primary role and responsibilities of organizers and traffic authorities to secure the surroundings before major changes are done in preparation for the races or any health and sporting activities that will involve the use of a highway.

It has been said repeatedly that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

The tragic mishap along Diversion Road in Barangay San Rafael, Mandurriao, Iloilo City that killed a graduating college student early morning on February 4, could have been avoided if the above-mentioned suggestions were observed.


It appears that when the car of victim, Jeymar Fortaleza of Brgy. Cubay, Jaro, collided with a passenger jeepney at around 4:15 in the morning, according to police, the victim had no idea the other road had been closed and he was negotiating on a two-way road.

The road was supposedly closed before midnight in relation to a fun run on that day.

If Fortaleza had no inkling about the changes made in the traffic, he certainly went straight to his fatal death believing he was on the right lane. What a loss of life.

Police said Fortaleza, a graduating Information Technology student succumbed to fatal body injuries while being treated at the Iloilo Doctors’ Hospital.

Police Captain Val Cambel, Mandurriao police station chief, reported that Fortaleza was driving his car from a mall on his way to the City Proper district when he accidentally crashed against a jeepney running in opposite direction.

Jeepney driver Morito Soliguen of Dingle, Iloilo was unharmed but was detained at the Mandurriao police station. Charges have been reportedly prepared against Soliguen.

We hope proper steps will be undertaken by the ICTMU and other traffic authorities concerned when the next activities are scheduled in the area so that the horrific Diversion Road accident will not happen again.


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(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)