WITH a pack of soap and shampoo in her pocket, a woman in her 60s crossed the national highway in Barangay Kinasang-an, Cebu City past 7 a.m. yesterday.
It was the last time she would cross that busy street.
A Ceres bus (612-CEH) heading to the Cebu South Bus Terminal from Carcar City hit her, throwing her body 12 meters away then dragging her on the ground for four more meters.
A portion of the bus’ windshield was shattered by the impact.
As of yesterday afternoon, the victim had yet to be identified. No one has checked on her body at the funeral parlor.
The Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) suspects that Joffrey Borres, the bus driver, went beyond the 40-kilometer per hour (kph) speed limit when he reached the area, which is near a barbecue store.
“The wheel’s skid mark on the road reached 16 meters; it wouldn’t have reached that far had the bus’s speed been under 40 kph,” said Citom Operations Division Chief Jonathan Tumulak.
Borres, 30, surrendered to the Pardo Police Station after the accident. He was later turned over to the Traffic Patrol Group, then to the Parian Police Station for detention. Borres, Tumulak said, will face a complaint for homicide through reckless imprudence.
Borres, however, denied he was speeding. He said he was running below the speed limit but the elderly woman suddenly crossed the street.
He tried to stop the bus when the victim’s head hit its windshield, but it was too late.
The accident caused heavy traffic on N. Bacalso Ave., which lasted two hours because Citom personnel had a hard time pulling out the victim’s body from under the tire.
Citom was forced to reroute traffic, so motorists who were stuck in Bulacao area were made to turn to Inayawan then to Cogon-Pardo to reach Barangays Mambaling and San Nicolas.
“We were waiting for the Bureau of Fire Protection’s modern equipment to lift the bus and for the Ceres company to help kay if imo ipa-irog ang bus, matiwasan nimo ang biktima (because if you move the van, it would worsen the victim’s injury),” Tumulak said.
A group of teenagers went to the site of the accident and cried, believing the woman was their grandmother.
When they saw the body, they realized it was a stranger.
Some residents identified the victim as a certain Virgie, a resident of Kinasang-an, but the information turned out false.
PO2 Chady Jungoy, traffic investigator, said the victim may not be a resident of the place after all.
Tumulak urged drivers not to take advantage of wide roads by speeding. Pedestrians should also be wary when crossing the streets, especially early in the morning.
Tumulak said the bus company promised to shoulder the burial expenses. Its bus is currently in Citom’s impounding area.