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Top Gear Philippines

Hit-and-run incident in Bonifacio Global City

Yesterday, another hit-and-run video went viral on our Facebook page. The incident took place in Bonifacio Global City on January 26, around 10am, and involved a Toyota Innova (ACA-9130) hitting a motorcycle at an intersection. The Innova driver hurriedly left the scene without attending to the motorcycle rider--even sideswiping another motorcycle as he was escaping.

As you can imagine, the brazenness of the Innova driver's actions earned nothing but scorn among social-media users, who demanded that he face the consequences of his deed.

Last night, the owner of the Innova reached out to TopGear.com.ph and explained what had happened.

The Innova belongs to lawyer Haydee Chavez and her husband. The vehicle was driven by their family driver, 53-year-old Edgardo Hurna, at the time of the incident. According to Chavez, the driver did inform them that he had been involved in an incident with a motorcycle--he had to, because the Innova had sustained visible scratches on its bumper--but that they didn't realize the severity of the situation until they saw the video.

"After seeing the video, we immediately went to the police station with the vehicle and our driver to report the incident," Chavez said. "We are willing to face the consequences of what happened, and settle with the motorcycle rider."

Chavez added that their driver panicked and fled as a knee-jerk reaction, as this was the first time it happened to him. Hurna was described by his employer as a "seasoned driver."

Meanwhile, the motorcycle rider is an Indian expatriate named Vijay Nagale, a director at Alcatel-Lucent. He told us that he had suffered multiple abrasions as well as a swollen knee and ankle. He also furnished us with a copy of the medical test he took after the incident, and shared that he now has some difficulty walking.

"First of all, I would like to correct the report that I was hit by the Innova," Nagale pointed out. "I wasn't hit by the Innova, because the moment I saw that it was about to hit me, I let go of my bike, which slid and hit the front part of the vehicle." Unfortunately, he did get injured as he fell on the ground.

"I ride a Kymco scooter to my office in Makati because I do not want to deal with traffic in a car," Nagale continued. "I am familiar with that intersection near the Mini showroom, and I'm able to time exactly when the traffic light turns green. I'm usually ahead of the pack of motorcycles because I ride a 300cc scooter. As I crossed the intersection, I saw a cab about to turn left, but I knew it couldn't do so until it was their turn. When I passed the cab, I suddenly saw the Innova coming in my direction, so I just let go of my motorbike."

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In the video, Nagale can be seen limping as he tried to block the Innova that was trying to leave.

"All I wanted was for the driver to get out of the vehicle and help me lift my motorcycle, as I had a hard time doing so because of the injury," Nagale revealed. "I wasn't really looking to file a formal complaint or whatever. I'm a foreigner here, and I don't really want any trouble."

Nagale said a BGC marshal helped him with his scooter after he asked for assistance (the marshal apparently didn't see the incident and was looking elsewhere). The marshal radioed his colleagues to report the plate number of the fleeing Innova, to no avail.

See, all of this could have been averted if the Innova driver just manned up and faced the motorcycle rider--and our friend Nic Uyliapco wouldn't have sent us the video from his dash camera. The video-sender was merely enraged by the Innova driver's shameless getaway stunt.

Chavez, the Innova owner, appealed to the public to spare the vehicle from retribution. "That vehicle is used to transport our kids to school," she said. "As a mother, I am naturally worried that others might harm the car."

We assured her that people would stop hating on their Innova once they learned the real story.

As you read this, we have already given the contact details of the Innova owner to Nagale. Both expressed willingness to talk and settle things amicably. Nagale did inquire if the video was enough evidence to indict the driver. We told him that he might have to personally file a complaint for the police to take action.

Screenshot from video by Nic Uyliapco

 

Vernon B. Sarne
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