Benguet bus mishap death toll rises to 8-A A +A
Sunday, March 3, 2013
BAGUIO CITY -- Another victim of the tourist bus accident last February 21 in Tuba, Benguet died after suffering serious injuries, raising the number of fatalities to eight.
The Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center records showed a female injured victim passed away early this week, but the hospital refused to give the victim’s identity.
The accident happened around 10:30 p.m. of February 21, when the chartered tourist bus carrying graduating tourism students crashed head on with a delivery truck along Marcos Highway in Taloy, Tuba, Benguet. Seven people were killed and 34 others were injured.
The bus was carrying Bachelor of Science in Tourism (BST) students from the Marinduque State College (MSC) and heading toward the lowlands when it collided with the truck bound for Baguio City.
The deceased were identified as Mervin Palatino, Diane Laurio, Mariel Mingi, Princess Anne Pastorfide, Jenny Liza Lantoria, Leopoldo Nana, and Carlo Pintor.
Five relatives of the victims filed separate cases for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicides, physical injuries and damage to properties against the tourist bus driver Roger Cuyo Albayalde at the Benguet Prosecutor’s Office.
The complainants are Nixon Palatino (brother of Mervin), Armando Laurio (father of Diane), Edgardo Gabriel (representative of Pastorfide), Gerard Ray Jr. (representative of Mingi), and Antonio Jerold Lantoria Jr. (husband of Jenny Liza).
The prosecutor’s office merged the cases into one with several complainants and witnesses.
The injured victims who gave their accounts about the accident are Jessica Paraiso, Andralyn Molina, Clarisse Peñarubia, Roshell Armamento, Manilyn Ray, Renzel Zulueta, Fei Angeles, Almar Reginio, Lorena Villaruel, Rizalle Ricafranca, Jedidia Ed Gomez, Susmitha Adlem Principe, Sandralyn Pielago, Jenelyn Llego, Jeanie Mae Pedrialva, Rovina Faye Tagle, and Marijoy Regalia.
The driver of the wheeler truck, Joel Bengua, and passenger Milagrito Balistoy also gave their statements.
Tuba police investigation revealed when the tourist bus hit the wheeler truck, which then executed a complete turn and bumped into another passenger bus.
Romulo Navarro, the driver of the passenger bus, and the operator Rosanna Macugay also gave their statements on the incident, which also involved three vehicles.
The passenger bus sustained minimal damage from the impact, investigation revealed.
Policemen earlier said the tourist bus was running along Marcos Highway at high speed. (With Cyril Encarnacion/Sun.Star Baguio/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 04, 2013.