The repatriation of the corpse of a Filipino who died after being jammed between a truck and piles of lumber outside Hanpa Hardware on April 23 is now being worked out, according to a co-worker of the deceased.
An employee of the Hanpa Hardware (who requested not to be named) who is also a witness to what transpired that afternoon, told Island Times in an interview on Friday, April 26, that paper works are now being processed for the repatriation of the body of Filipino national Arnel Punzallan, 56, who died after being jammed between the side of a flatbed truck and piles of lumber in front of the hardware store last week.
The witness said that the family of the deceased in the Philippines had also been notified about the incident.
According to the witness, Punzallan had worked with the company as a driver for around 22 years until the incident.
The incident as told by the witness
The witness recounted what exactly happened that afternoon when she heard the truck driven by the deceased arrived at the scene. She was entertaining a customer who was ordering pieces of lumber at the time. Fifteen minutes had already passed since she heard the truck park but Punzallan still had not come down to the office. The witness thought that Punzallan was doing his usual routine – running some small tasks at the Hanpa Mart or taking a break at the restroom. When the customer’s assistant came to pick up the lumber, the witness asked a favor of the customer’s assistant to help pull up the lumber for them as it would just be quick. She then escorted the customer’s assistant outside the office to where the piles of lumber were placed and just as the customer’s assistant was pulling up a piece of lumber, the witness let out a scream. She had just discovered the body of Punzallan tightly jammed between the side of the truck and the piles of lumber.
The witness then brought to the attention of the assistant what she just discovered and the man was equally surprised. The witness immediately ran for help and called the police who then quickly responded to the scene.
What followed next were attempts to free the victim from being jammed. The witness said that another vehicle was also used to push the truck and even their company’s engineer had personally helped to remove Punzallan’s body.
The witness clarified that in the attempt to remove Punzallan’s body, the truck did not run over him contrary to what was previously reported. She said that when he was freed from where he was jammed, he fell down flat on the ground, the truck moved and then stopped when its back wheel touched a portion of his arm. They then managed to take his body out successfully and brought him to the hospital where he was later declared dead.
According to the witness, if they did not discover his body that afternoon, chances would be that no one would find him until the next day since the place was a bit obscured from people’s plain view.
As of this writing, it was still unclear what happened to the victim prior to the discovery of his body at the scene. Police are still conducting further investigation on the case.
In our previous report, it was stated that the preliminary investigation of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) revealed that Punzallan was the driver of the truck that was parked on a downward slope outside the hardware office. It was found that the truck, in order to be parked on a downhill angle, only had hollow blocks, rocks, and cylinder concrete as its tire stopper. It was found later after operatives’ consultation with a mechanic that the handbrake of the truck was not operational and that it only has a buster brake system which means that it uses air to activate the brake and only functions when the car is moving. (By Rhealyn C. Pojas)