7 killed in bus mishap-A A +A
Sunday, October 28, 2012
CEBU CITY -- At least seven people died while 33 others were injured when a packed bus lost its brakes and slammed into a concrete wall in Barangay Don Andres Soriano, Toledo City, Saturday night.
The Jegan’s bus (GXD-545) left Cebu City and was on its way to Pinamungajan town when the accident happened past 7 p.m. as the driver negotiated a blind curve.
The impact tore the roof off the front part of the bus, which was heavily damaged.
Senior Police Officer 2 Larry Pili of Toledo City Police Station told Sun.Star Cebu the bus driven by Allan Pastedio, 40, suddenly suffered a mechanical problem while it was going downhill.
In the same area about two years ago, 15 people died while 48 others were wounded when another bus also lost its brakes.
The victims in Saturday’s accident were first brought to two hospitals in the town. Most of them were transferred to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City, where severe injuries and fractures could be treated.
Three women and three men died immediately. One of them was identified as Virgilio Cañabano, who was reportedly a few blocks away from home when the accident happened.
Rep. Pablo John Garcia (Cebu, 3rd district) sent his staff Saturday night to the VSMMC to attend to the survivors’ needs.
“The governor and I will take care of all the medical expenses,” he said. He added they will also take care of the burial expenses and give financial assistance to the families of those who were killed in the accident.
The amount of financial assistance has yet to be determined, he said.
The gubernatorial candidate for 2013 is the representative of the district that includes Toledo City, where the accident occurred, and Pinamungajan town, where some of the injured victims came from.
Pinamungajan Mayor Geraldine Yapha went to the accident site and the two hospitals, Toledo District Hospital and Don Andres Soriano (DAS) Hospital, to attend to the needs of injured victims brought there.
“We will do the best we can to support the families,” the mayor said.
She acknowledged the personal assistance extended by councilors from other towns who also went to these two hospitals.
Mayor Yapha, who is also a medical doctor, said doctors already referred some of the injured victims to VMMC. She also assured support for the victims.
“Whatever they need, we will give our full support,” Mayor Yapha said.
Yapha of the Liberal Party will run against Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia of One Cebu for the third district’s seat in the House of Representatives next year.
A report over DYSS identified the passengers who were taken to Carmen Copper Corp. Hospital as Jose Canencia, Glenda Canencia, Jovani Libres, Joel Friolo, Nympha Barabat, Dante Lucing, Alejandro Nelmeda, Adrian Gomez, Artemio Pison, Alejandra Pison, John RJ Pison, Justin
Piston, Joanne Rosacurba, Rudy Mapa, Crispin Villarin, Rodrigo Barabat and Luciano Alcos.
Other survivors who were listed in Toledo District Hospital were Alvin Cabellon, Teodora Canumay, Magdalena Maribojoc, Ryan Zureta, Danilo Sepada, Joel Preotto, Cantida Tango-an, Danilo Mainit, Jure May Maguiling, Jovert Tango-an, Nanic Eskribano, Jordan Enriquez, Jesus Managaytay and Simproso Cañada.
Police identified the driver as Pastedio and his conductor as Amic Maque.
Passengers Jeciel Villarin and Mark John Iwayan didn’t go to the hospital but reported to the police.
Villarin told Sun.Star Cebu the bus was racing with another bus while they were still in Cebu City.
“Kusog kay siya ug padagan (He was driving really fast),” she said.
In Toledo, she recalled, the bus suddenly began swerving from left to right and its brakes screeched.
Their bus then hit a concrete wall and the gate of the house owned by Maria Bacalso, 64, and fell on its side.
Villarin suffered a minor head injury while Iwayan was unscathed. They were seated at the center of the bus, near a window.
Villarin was bound for Barangay Pondol, Pinamungajan to attend a relative’s barangay fiesta celebration.
Ryan Zureta, another survivor, recalled the driver and the conductor didn’t say anything when the bus lost its brakes.
“Nagsiyagit na ang mga tawo. Nanghilak sa likod (The people were screaming and crying at the back),” he said. In a split second decision, he jumped through the window, right before the bus hit the wall.
Zureta was seated at the back of the driver and suffered from a head injury.
He works as a construction worker in Cebu City on weekdays and goes home to his family every weekend.
“Wala mi’y kasugat ug wa sa’y sakyanan sa among likod (There was no vehicle on the other lane or behind us),” he added.
Bacalso, the house owner, said God helped her family and spared them from any injuries.
She was in church while her grandchildren were in another barangay when the accident occurred.
Police officials have repeatedly appealed to drivers to follow the speed limit, as provided under Republic Act 4163 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code to avoid road accidents.
The maximum speed in country roads is 80 kilometers per hour for cars and motorcycles and 50 kilometers per hour for trucks and buses. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 28, 2012.