Truck hits bus; 6 dead, 57 hurt-A A +A
Thursday, January 17, 2013
CEBU CITY – Six people were killed and 57 others were injured, many of them critically, when a trailer truck rammed a passenger bus in the City of Naga Wednesday afternoon.
Traffic investigators of the Naga City Police Station believed that the accident was caused by a mechanical malfunction, which caused the truck, driven by Antonio Umagay, to lose its brakes.
Owners of the trailer truck and passenger bus and Representative Pablo John Garcia (Cebu Province, 3rd district) have committed to shoulder the medical expenses.
Garcia and his wife Karen said in their Twitter accounts that the congressman’s staff was working 24 hours to help the accident victims, which included arranging for the burial of four persons and providing the meals of those brought to the hospital.
Police Officer 2 Cristito Canono of the Naga Police Station told reporters the accident occurred around 4:30 p.m. in a steep portion of the Naga-Uling Road in Sitio Gaway-gaway, Barangay Uling.
Umagay, who was driving a trailer truck owned by WT Construction Inc. (WTCI), was supposed to deliver a bulldozer to Carcar City. His boss, Eddie Lopez, confirmed that Umagay had left their office in Asturias to make the delivery.
But while crossing Sitio Gaway-gaway, he suddenly lost his brakes, causing the large vehicle to speed downhill.
A passenger bus belonging to the Calvo Bus Liners Inc. was also moving uphill in the same area. The bus, driven by Jimmy Limoran, reportedly carried more than 50 passengers bound for Toledo City from Cebu City.
Umagay allegedly drove to the opposite lane, in an attempt to stop the truck.
Instead, it hit the mid-section of the passenger bus and sent it down a roadside canal.
Umagay, along with four unidentified passengers of the bus, reportedly died on the spot. Police investigators reported that an unidentified passenger died while en route toward the Toledo District Hospital.
At least 27 passengers were brought to a hospital owned by the Carmen Copper Corp. in Toledo City, while 30 others were brought to the Toledo District Hospital. Eventually, the 57 surviving passengers were brought to different hospitals in Cebu City for further treatment.
Canono said that as of 10 p.m. Wednesday, six deaths were confirmed, not eight as earlier reported.
Rescuers from the Naga City government and from Carmen Copper needed about five hours to remove all passengers from the wreckage. The last fatality, an unidentified man, was removed from the wrecked bus at 9:30 p.m.
After hearing of what happened to her husband, Jessica Umagay immediately went to the scene of the accident. One of her seven children accompanied her.
As she saw her husband’s body, Jessica said she regretted that they never found peace together. She told reporters that while she and Umagay shared a home, they were estranged.
Umagay and the bodies of the five victims (whose identities could not be confirmed last night) will be brought to the St. Francis Funeral Homes in Naga City.
Alvin Calvo, who represented Calvo Bus Liners, also told reporters that they are willing to shoulder the medical expenses.
Lopez, representing WTCI, said he has yet to take up the accident with management. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 17, 2013.