Ceres bus accident kills 1, injures 10-A A +A
Monday, August 26, 2013
A MIDWIFE was killed while 10 others were injured when a passenger bus they were riding crashed in Barangay Talaga, Argao yesterday morning.
Maria Theresa Ceballos, 45, died immediately after the Ceres bus (number 8304) plowed into a roadside fence and into a large gemilina tree along the national highway in Sitio Poblacion, Barangay Talaga at 11 a.m.
Traffic investigators said the bus could have been racing with another vehicle when it crashed. The bus driver, who was immediately detained after the incident, denied it.
Argao Mayor Edsel Galleos, however said there was one fatality but only six injured in the accident. Galleos said there were only few passengers because of the extended weekend.
Gallos said a rescue team from the town’s local disaster risk reduction and management council immediately responded to the accident.
The mayor said they controlled the incident within five minutes, with an ambulance and a police team taking the victims to the hospital.
Galleos said he also asked the help of the neighboring towns.
This, as a Cebu City official said the bus management abandoned the injured passengers in the hospital.
PO3 Von Perido Tecson, traffic investigator of the Argao Police Station, said the passenger bus (994-CEH) was going towards Cebu City when it had the accident.
Tecson said the bus was speeding, apparently racing with another passenger bus.
Tecson said it was usual for drivers of passenger buses to compete with each other in getting passengers along the route.
The bus jumped off from the highway and tumbled towards a vacant lot, he said.
Ceballos, who was sitting near bus’ main door, was pinned. It took 30 minutes for barangay tanods and residents to remove Ceballos’ body from the wreckage.
Ten other persons, including the bus driver and conductor, were taken to the Isidro
Kintanar Memorial District Hospital in Barangay Poblacion, Argao.
Bus driver Ernesto Cerna was injured in his left hand while his conductor Johnlevi Cabanas had a minor scratch in his back.
The injured passengers included Carlito Sereno, 53; Darlyn Heredia, 19; Alma Medalle, 46; Joseph Biranque, 27; and Lia Mae Pangilinan, 21.
Three injured passengers were members of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CCDRMC): Harold Ancontin, 39; Fritz Abella, 22; and Ian Nel Ladera, 21.
Except for Sereno, the injured passengers were transferred to a private hospital in Cebu City after the accident.
In an interview yesterday, Sereno told reporters he didn’t notice the bus was about to crash because he was sleeping that time. Sereno, who is also a driver for Ceres Bus Liners, had lost much of his left ear because of the accident.
Ceballos’ relatives will file charges against the bus driver.
John Ceballos, one of the victim’s nephews, said his aunt was in Dalaguete during the weekend to visit her parents.
Ceballos, who had never married, had worked as a midwife for the district hospital in Moalboal for almost two decades.
John said that since his aunt never married, she often helped the children of her siblings in their schooling. John was one of those who were helped by Ceballos.
In a separate interview, Cerna denied he was racing with another passenger bus.
Cerna, a resident of Barangay Quiot Pardo in Cebu City, told reporters he was going at 50 kph. when he tried to overtake a tricycle.
But a prime mover vehicle was coming from the opposite direction. He tried to avoid a collision but he lost his brakes.
Cerna said the rain also contributed to the accident since it made the road slippery.
Alvin Santillana of CCDRMC told Sun.Star Cebu three of his personnel who were hurt in the accident said representatives of the bus company abandoned them and did pay for their hospital expenses.
Santillana said the representatives of the bus company only left them a calling card, whose number couldn’t be reached.
For now, the Cebu City Government is shouldering the hospital expenses.
Cerna will be charged with reckless imprudence resulting to homicide and damage to property.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 26, 2013.