Briones: Cautionary tale

LET me get this straight.

A trailer truck driver was temporarily detained at the Argao Police Station after his vehicle figured in a four-vehicle smashup in Barangay Taloot, which resulted in the deaths of a couple and their grandchild. Four other grandchildren, who were injured, remain in hospital.

According to PO1 Jayson Lobendina of the Argao Police Station, 62-year-old Jose Aquillo Sellote “suddenly made a left turn” and encroached on the opposite lane thereby hitting the trailer truck driven by Leonel Judith.

Judith was on his way to Barangay Binlod to deliver poultry feeds when the accident happened.

The report said that the collision sent Sellote’s vehicle bouncing back to the southbound lane where it struck the car that was trailing them.

As for the truck, Judith lost control of the vehicle after impact and ended up hitting an SUV before crashing into the mangroves by the side of the two-lane highway.

The report didn’t say why Sellote “suddenly made a left turn,” but there are several scenarios.

There’s a possibility that Sellote was trying to avoid hitting a tricycle that suddenly stopped to either pick up or drop off a passenger. That, or he was trying to overtake a tricycle that was slowing down traffic.

People who often travel around the province know what I’m talking about.

But how could Sellote miss Judith’s truck? Unless, of course, the area where the collision happened is a blind curve and both vehicles were speeding. Then it all took place in a split second.

Still, I thought it unfair for Judith to bear the brunt of the blame for the accident, considering that there was nowhere he could go when his trailer truck was hit by Sellote’s vehicle.

They were, after all, on a two-lane highway.

And let me just point out the obvious, Sellote was counterflowing.

Yet the public will only take note of the three lives lost and the four others under medical observation. They will no doubt sympathize with the Sellote family, as I do, while Judith will always be remembered as the driver of the truck that killed them.

But now’s not the time to pass blame.

We must look at the bigger picture.

If we hope to attract more local and foreign tourists to our far-flung towns, we must ensure that they get there safely or they return from their vacation in one piece.

We must improve infrastructure by widening the national highway. Or we can ban slow-moving vehicles, such as tricycles, from plying it, and establish parallel roads that these vehicles can use.

Better yet, we can remind everyone to drive carefully.
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