Very early yesterday, we posted a video on our Facebook page showing a white unit of the all-new Mitsubishi Montero Sport running over the rear wheel of a bicycle and then fleeing the scene last December 17. The bicycle owner was walking his bike across a busy street in Taytay, Rizal, when his ride was clipped by the SUV. The Montero Sport driver didn't stop and left as if nothing happened.
Predictably, people were angered by the blatant disregard for the bicycle owner--never mind road safety itself.
Later in the day, we shared a photo from a reader, showing the Montero Sport in question (with conduction sticker number NK-7073) parked at Hai Kang Seafood Restaurant in Greenhills, San Juan. According to the photo-sender, the guard of the restaurant told him that his boss only got the brand-new SUV on December 18, one day after the incident.
Today, we received a call from the Montero Sport owner himself, Renato See, a 59-year-old businessman who also owns the above-mentioned restaurant. He told us that the unit was delivered to him on December 17, but he only used it the following day. Which means the person driving the SUV at the time of the incident was an employee of the dealership, Evolander Motor Corporation, which is located in Kaytikling in Taytay.
"Friends told me about it," See told TopGear.com.ph. "Yung Montero Sport mo, na-Top Gear, they said. Then I saw the video. My family is now very worried after learning that our new vehicle has been involved in such an incident. They don't want to use it for now."
The businessman likewise made an offer to replace the bicycle of the victim with a new one. "I want to buy him a new bicycle. That's the right thing to do."
If he was not the one driving the vehicle at the time, why does he feel compelled to replace the bicycle himself? And isn't he disappointed with the dealership for getting his vehicle into this mess and not telling him about it?
"The driver, I was told, let the bicycle owner through," See shared. "But the bicycle owner stepped back due to a passing pickup to the right of my Montero Sport. And so the rear wheel of the bike got clipped by the right front wheel of the SUV. Maybe the driver hesitated to stop for fear of getting mobbed, or for fear of the repercussions, as the unit had yet to be delivered to me."
According to Mitsubishi Motors Philippines first vice president Froilan Dytianquin, See is a friend of the dealership owner, hence the first dibs on a unit even before the model's official launch. Which could also explain why See isn't all that livid at what happened.
Asked if the Montero Sport didn't have any damage from the incident, See replied: "No, there was nothing. Only the vehicle's big wheel made contact with the bicycle." The all-new Montero Sport has 18-inch wheels with 265/60 tires.
"I want to make things right," See reiterated. "If you could find the bicycle owner, I would like to get him a new one."
See added that this is his first time to own a Montero Sport.
"Before I bought this, I had heard of the allegations about the SUV," he revealed. "But in the two days I've driven it so far, I must say it's a pretty good car. I'm very much impressed. Sorry if it sounds like an advertisement, but I really like it. It's just too bad that this happened. We got the car for Christmas, and now my family is reluctant to use it due to the negative publicity it got."
As you know, other people have offered to get a new bicycle for the victim. But it would be really nice if that new bicycle came from the Montero Sport owner himself. That would be a happy ending to the story. (If you have any leads as to the bicycle owner's identity, please contact us so we can inform Mr. See.)
As for the driver of the Montero Sport during the incident, See said that he wasn't aware of the dealership's course of action. Let's hope he'll be made to face whatever consequence his actions merit.