A sudden turn, then a final silence-A A +A
Monday, October 29, 2012
A 16-YEAR-OLD high school student, who was expected to graduate with honors, and a 59-year-old father, who went home every weekend to see his family, are just two of seven persons who died when a full passenger bus made its final trip.
Cherry Anne Nillama, 16, of Barangay Tajao, Pinamungajan died on the spot after she was pinned inside the Jegans Bus Liner.
Her sister Christine, 17, survived but suffered head trauma and a blood clot, while her aunt Teresita, 46, suffered abrasions in the body.
“Nag-suroy-suroy sila sa Cebu City kay bag-o abot sa gawas ilang aunt (They made a trip to Cebu City because their aunt had just arrived from abroad),” the girl’s mother Gemerosa, 43, said.
Nillama, a consistent honor student, was supposed to graduate from high school with honors next year, she said. “Sayang kaayo gyud. Ganahan ‘ta to siya mag-physical therapist (This is a huge loss. She wanted to be a physical therapist),” Gemerosa said.
Analy Umba, 35, spent the early hours of Sunday waiting for her husband to come home to Barangay Ponud, Pinamungajan. She was confident that nothing bad had happened to Irineo, 59, and assured their five children, who began to worry when he didn’t get home as scheduled.
Neighbors told Analy that an accident happened in Barangay Don Andres Soriano, involving the bus company her husband preferred.
She then went to St. Francis Funeral Homes in Barangay Poblacion, Toledo City. That was where she found Irineo.
“Wa gyud ko kabalo unsa akong buhaton karon. Nagsalig ra mi niya (I don’t know what to do. We all depended on him),” she said.
Irineo worked as backhoe operator in Cebu City and visited his family every weekend. “Pinangga kaayo niya iyang mga anak kay magda gyud ug pagkaon (He loved his children very much. He always brought them food when he came home),” she added.
For survivors, the ordeal remains fresh.
They remember how the bus veered, then fell on its side and slammed into a concrete wall. Then, silence.
The accident was quick, recalled Rosalinda Cerna, 51, from Cantabaco, Toledo City.
She said they began shouting inside as the bus swerved. They heard squeaking sounds from the brakes. Then, the fall.
When she opened her eyes, she saw the other passengers were unconscious. She made the first noise.
“Hallelujah!” she shouted, happy to have made it alive, even if her right arm was broken.
Jesus Managaytay, 34, from Mangoto, Pinamungajan said he was on top of the bus, chatting with the barker. He remembered how they went downhill, and then the accident suddenly happened.
“Wa na ko magtuo nga mabuhi (I never expected to survive),” Managaytay told Sun.Star, while tears appeared in his eyes.
He said he was thrown and hit a concrete part of a house nearby. He suffered wounds and an injury on the right side of his ribcage.
Alicia, his wife, said she was shocked and speechless when she was informed by a nurse, over the phone, that her husband was in the Toledo District Hospital because of an accident.
On her way to the hospital, she kept praying she would find him alive. He has since been transferred to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City.
Sinen Cabonella, daughter of Felidelfa Baratbate, 59, who died in VSMMC yesterday, said her mother never regained consciousness after the accident.
Her mother, she added, just accompanied her father for a medical and laboratory check-up in Cebu Doctors’ Hospital in Cebu City, before they rode the bus to go home to Pinamungajan.
Her father was sent home from the hospital yesterday.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 29, 2012.