Peter Alagos/Business Reporter

The remains of the five Filipinos, who were burnt to death in a gruesome road traffic accident near the Hamad International Airport (HIA) along the Corniche-Wakrah highway on October 6, have finally been repatriated, the Philippine embassy told Gulf Times.

Philippine ambassador Cresente Relacion said the bodies of Bencris Rivera, 36, his wife Jocelyn, 38, and one-year old son, Arclian Zirc, as well as Marilou Cal, 27, a visitor from Saudi Arabia, were repatriated last Thursday.

However, the body of Joyce Geli, 24, also visiting from Saudi Arabia, was repatriated on Friday after a representative of her employer, the Specialised Medical Centre in Riyadh, decided to defer the shipment a day later to verify the name of the person receiving the remains in the Philippines.

The five Filipinos died on the spot on October 6, 2014 after a speeding Land Cruiser slammed onto their vehicle as it was parked along a side road near the vicinity of the HIA. Bencris’ sister Suzeth Rivera, was the lone survivor of the accident.

Based on a road accident report from the Ministry of Interior’s (MoI) General Administration of Traffic dated October 8, 2014, Relacion said the driver of the Land Cruiser, an 18-year old national, was charged with “excess speed, driving with no license, causing the death of more persons.”

The report also revealed that the Land Cruiser’s insurance coverage was valid up to August 6, 2014 only. It added that the crash hurled the ill-fated Nissan Pathfinder 104m from the point of impact while the victims were inside the vehicle. The vehicle also caught fire after hitting a curb following the collision.

Additional MoI records handed to Relacion also revealed that the Land Cruiser which caused the accident had incurred 44 traffic violations between August 22, 2013 and September 26, 2014.

Before the repatriation, Relacion said Bencris and his wife’s next of kin were in Qatar to facilitate the processing of documents, which included insurance claims and cancellation of lease agreements for the victims’ housing and cars.

Relacion said the victims’ relatives had also spoken to a lawyer endorsed by the Philippine Embassy on the courses of action to be taken by their respective families.

“The Philippine embassy will also hire a lawyer to focus on the case, especially the criminal aspect,” Relacion said.

He added, “I also hope that the MoI would launch a vigorous campaign that would really inculcate the culture of safety among the public.”

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