Photo of road crash in Romania misused as Filipino actor's 'car accident'

A photo of a road crash that injured soldiers in Romania in 2017 has been misrepresented in Facebook posts describing the death of a Filipino actor in 2023. The clickbait posts were shared by Facebook pages managed from countries including Romania, Macedonia and Serbia.

A Facebook user shared this photo of a car wreck on June 9, 2024. 

Its caption read: "It is with heavy hearts that we announce that, following an accident, he has left us! What sad news. He died in a car accident. Find out in the first comment." 

The user posted a link to an article on a Romania-based site in the comments section.

"Andrei Sison, a teen artist from Kapuso, died and three others were hurt when the car they were riding in an accident in Quezon City yesterday," the article read in part.

Screenshot of the false Facebook post, captured on June 13, 2024

Philippine media outlet GMA News reported Sison "died due to a car accident" in the early hours of March 24, 2023. 

Identical posts were shared elsewhere on Facebook here and here, with similar links in the comment sections to websites in Lithuania.

However, a reverse image search found the photo circulated in the Facebook posts was captured in Romania. 

Unrelated road accident

It shows the wreckage of a military vehicle near Cernavoda, Constanta county in January 2017, according to a local media report (archived link). 

"The car with Army number, A-1281, which was travelling from Fetesti to Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, overtook a truck," said the Romanian-language article.

The army car crashed into an oncoming vehicle in the opposite lane; both cars then hit the truck, according to the report.

Another local news report said two people died on the spot, while two soldiers were taken to hospital for their injuries (archived link). 

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the Facebook posts (left) and the photo of the crash in Romania (right):

Screenshot comparison of the photo used in the false posts (left) and the photo of the crash in Romania (right)

A video of the crash site filmed by Stirile PRO TV, a news programme in Romania, also shows the mangled car (archived link).  

A search on Google Maps shows the location of the crash, where a small roadside memorial has been built.

Is there content that you would like AFP to fact-check? Get in touch.

Contact us