A MALE passenger died while 31 others were injured after a delivery truck hit a tricycle and collided with a Ceres Liner bus along the highway of Purok Paghidaet in Barangay Taloc, Bago City, Negros Occidental Saturday night.
Police identified the fatality as April Rex Villegas, 24, of Barangay Don Jorge L. Araneta in the city.
Injured were bus passengers Rissa Torre, 31 and her four-year-old child; Jeffrey Estosane, 33; Justin Togle, 34; Jade Agote, 22; Evelyn Odtohan, 30; Roselito Calumba, 34; Joel Buenaventura, 28; Shaira Tenero, 19; Steve Ernest Dulaca, 23; Christina Mae Cadungog, 22; Rona Jean Escora, 21; Mark Ian Labrador, 19; Gene Jade Elarmo, 32; Joemon Jison, 35; Sherwin Desponzo, 35; Janice Salem, 32; Jerald Gan, 24; Arjie Villegas, 29; Jose Kristian Clemente, 20; Jan Michael Artifice, 18; Mark Fernandez, 21; Dalbert Buenaflor, 24; Wina Lozada, 18; Jasper Alvarez, 22; Rommel Ambino, 20; and Diego Amarado, 19.
Also wounded were bus conductor RJ Lachica, 27; bus driver Florentino Belleza Jr., 29; truck driver Ricardo Rojo, 28; and tricycle passenger Adelaida Fedilo, 53.
Senior Inspector Hercules Trigue, deputy chief of Bago City Police Station, said the truck driver was reportedly speeding on his way to Bacolod City around 9:50 p.m. when it hit a tricycle parked beside the road.
The truck swerved to the opposite lane and collided with the Ma-ao-bound bus unloading a passenger. The bus fell on its side while the truck also hit an electrical post.
Trigue believed that Rojo probably fell asleep.
Villegas died on the spot while other victims were rushed to various hospitals.
Trigue said bus passengers who sustained minor injuries were discharged, but the bus driver and conductor are still confined as well as the truck driver.
Jesideth Seballos, legal and media relations manager of Ceres Liner operator Vallacar Transit Inc., said on Sunday the bus company will extend financial assistance to the family of Villegas.
They will also provide assistance to the other passengers even if the bus company was not at fault, she said.
Seballos said the bus company will pursue charges against the truck van driver for putting the lives of the passengers and their employees in danger and for seriously damaging the bus due to reckless driving.