A teenager ejected in a two-car crash on the Malahat has been brought out of a medically induced coma at Victoria General Hospital and is recovering, according to family.
J.R. Corpuz, 18, and his girlfriend Kloie Jamisola, 16, were ejected from the back seat of a Honda CRV that lost control while heading south on the wet Trans Canada highway near Whittaker Road on Oct. 14 at 11:25 a.m. The car skidded into a northbound pickup carrying three adults.
J.R. has improved greatly, said Jayvee Corpuz, his sister-in-law. He is now out of the coma. He is awake now.
J.R. Corpuz talked clearly for the first time Tuesday and he recognizes each and every family member, said Jayvee Corpuz.
His brothers, sister, mother and father and extended family members have been keeping watch over the critically injured young man since he was rushed to hospital.
There are plans to have J.R. try to sit upright this week. Hes very feisty. He moves his arms and legs a lot, Jayvee Corpuz said.
The family does not want to discuss what the young man knows or doesnt know about his girlfriend and friends killed in the crash.
Killed in the Honda during the crash were Kloie Jamisola, the driver Pheap (Sophie) Top, 28, and her front-seat passenger Diane Muriel Lacasca Bocacao, 19. All were from Nanaimo.
Backseat passengers Sarina Top, six, survived along with Corpuz.
Sarina, who is out of hospital, lost her mother in the crash. She will live with her aunt in Nanaimo.
According to the Vancouver Island Health Authority, all of the families have requested privacy and therefore more details on the condition of the child or the occupants of the truck have not been made available.
Malahat Volunteer Fire Chief Rob Patterson, whose property overlooks the highway where the crash occurred, was first on the scene and administered first-aid to J.R.
He was my patient, Patterson said Tuesday.
It makes me feel a whole lot better that hes out of the coma and on the long road to recovery, Patterson said. At one point I would love to meet him.
When Patterson arrived on the scene, the magnitude of the carnage was more than he had seen before.
Patterson could see the driver and front-seat passenger in their seatbelts, and Sarina dangling from hers in the back seat.
To Pattersons eye, it appeared that the seatbelts belonging to Corpuz and Jamisola had been torn from their locked position, in the crash.
However, according to preliminary findings by the crash reconstructionist, the backseat seatbelts in the middle and the right were unused.
Contrary to earlier reports by police and first responders, the reconstructionists report will show the six-year-old girl who survived was belted but sat in the rear left seat, behind her mother, the driver not the middle as earlier reported.
The passenger side of the Honda, headed south, sustained the most damage.
The fire chief said the front passenger side of the compact car appeared to slide almost sideways into the front of the truck.
On impact, the back half of the Honda cracked back slapping the driver side of the truck which was northbound.
At that point the back half snapped off.
Sarina was found in the back half of the severed Honda. The wreckage was on its side and Sarina was hanging by a seatbelt.
There was fog and rain at the time of the accident.
The drivers of both cars were travelling at the posted speed limit, about 80 km/h, according to Sgt. Rob Webb of Shawnigan Lake RCMP.
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A website raising money for the Corpuz family for associated recovery and burial costs for those in the Honda can be found at: www.gofundme.com/Malahat-Tragedy-Oct14
A website raising money for Sarinas care and education can be found at: www.indiegogo.com/sarinatop
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