MANILA – The Court of Appeals (CA) absolved a motorist who figured in an accident in 2014 with a motorcycle with three persons on board, one of whom was killed.
In a decision dated April 5 and uploaded online recently, the CA Seventh Division denied the appeal filed by the parents of the deceased motorcycle rider, Kim Raymundo, and affirmed the decision of the Valenzuela Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 284.
The incident occurred on Nov. 23, 2014 at around 4 a.m. when the borrowed motorcycle ridden by Raymundo who was with friends, Judith Agosto and John Paul Agosto, collided with the sedan driven by Arnel Arceo along McArthur Highway in Malanday, Valenzuela City.
Except for Judith, all three were intoxicated but the court noted Arceo did not cause the collision.
The Agostos and Arceo sustained injuries while Raymundo, who did not have a license, died.
John Paul severely injured his leg which caused a permanent limp while Judith had one leg amputated.
Only Raymundo was wearing a helmet at the time.
The riders of the motorbike came from a birthday party and attending medical personnel noted that Raymundo and John Paul smelled of alcohol.
The car driver likewise reeked of alcohol, according to first responders.
The court, in upholding the RTC, noted that photographs of the aftermath of the incident showed that the car was in the right lane.
“(A)ssuming that respondent (car driver) was negligent on account of his intoxication, it cannot be said that such negligence was the cause of the accident, because (Raymundo) was also intoxicated at the time. There was no evidence on record to indicate respondent’s degree of intoxication or that he was more intoxicated than Kim. All that the evidence showed is that both drivers were positive of alcoholic breath at the time of the incident. For this reason, it cannot be said that respondent’s negligence was the proximate cause of the accident, while that of Kim was merely contributory,” the court ruled. (PNA)