Saturday, July 4, 2009

April 15, 2009

Teenage 'joyride driver' kills OFW in Jeddah
04/15/2009 08:25 PM

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia - A 27-year-old Filipino worker in Saudi Arabia died after he was reportedly hit by a teenager on a “joyride."Consul Leo Tito Ausan Jr. said Ryan D. Fajardo was hit by a car while he was jogging along a street in Taif, a highland city in Saudi Arabia’s western region, at about 10 a.m. last Thursday.

Ausan said Fajardo and his companions were already on their way home when they encountered the joyrider.“Pagkasabi ng tatlo ay parang nag jo-joyriding itong suspek [The three said the suspect seemed to be on a ‘joyride’]," said Jun Arsenio, consulate coordinator at the Armed Forces Hospital in Taif.

He added that the three told him that they couldn’t avoid the vehicle when it started zigzagging toward them, even sending Fajardo flying when it hit him.After the accident, the vehicle reportedly immediately sped off. But the suspect was caught after a concerned citizen reportedly chased after him.

When he finally appeared in front of the authorities, he was accompanied by his father, revealing that he was actually still a minor.The victim was then brought to the hospital to be treated but was pronounced dead after two hours because of internal hemorrhage.

Arsenio said that according to the medical report, the victim’s hip got crushed by the impact while the connecting part of his bone at the waist and pelvic bone also got broken.But what saddened them most, said Philippine officials, was that the victim was still young and that he was supposed to go home to get married to his girlfriend.“Nahirapan nga akong ipaalam sa kanila ang nangyari sa kanya [It was very difficult to tell her]," said Arsenio.

Ausan said, however, that they are still waiting for a special power of attorney from Fajardo’s family that would allow them to represent them.“Nakikiramay po ang buong konsulado sa pamilya ni Fajardo, sa kanyang mga kaibigan at kasamahan sa trabaho. Sisikapin po natin na maibigay ang hustisya sa kanya," he said. [The consulate is sympathizing with the family, friends, and workmates of Fajardo. We will do anything in our power to bring justice to his death]He said he has already tasked Egay Pascua, consulate coordinator in Taif, to search all precincts and check if the suspect is still in jail or has already been released.

This incident, in turn, prompted the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah to issue a warning to all Filipinos to be careful while walking on the streets.“Nananawagan din po ako sa ating mga kababayan na maging alerto at maingat pag kayo ay nasa labas para maiwasan ang sakuna [I am calling on all Filipinos to be alert and careful to avoid any untoward incident]," said Ausan. - with Kimberly Jane T. Tan, GMANews.TV

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