Lyle Hecx Adrian Firmeza and his mother attended the novena Mass and lit candles for his 15th birthday at the Basilica del Santo Niño in Cebu City last Wednesday morning.
A few hours later, the bus that he and his mother rode in was rammed by a trailer truck at sitio Gaway-gaway, Uling, Naga City at 4:45 pm. Lyle was one of 11 people who died in the accident.
His mother Mary Aileen survived with minor injuries.
Lyle was the only child of Mary Aileen and her husband, a retired policeman in Dipolog City.
Among those who died were 28-year-old Emmanuel Gaudise of Talavera, Toledo City, 40-year-old trailer truck driver Antonico Omagay of Punta Princesa, Cebu City and Almira Pamandanan, 36, DAS, Toledo City.
Also dead were Cayetana Fernandez of barangay DAS, Toledo City; Julie Pajamutan, Uling of Naga City; Dionny Pajamutan of barangay Uling, Naga City, Melvin Costanilla of Toledo City and Lilita Etang of Balamban.
The 10th fatality was later identified at St. Francis Funeral Homes as 20-year-old Janesly Carpentero, of DAS, Toledo City.
The accident also injured more than 50 people. One other fatality remained unidentified.
Lyle’s uncle Gail Firmeza said his sister accepted her only son’s death and didn’t question God for what happened.
“Our families are devotees of the Señor Sto. Niño. God has plans for Lyle,” he said.
Gail described Lyle, a 3rd year student of Don Andres Soriano High School, as a good son, very jolly and friendly. He also wanted to become a soldier after high school.
Gail said Lyle’s grandmother Maria Clara asked Lyle not to go to the church on that day as is the family custom.
Lyle sat at the back of the driver while Mary Aileen was on the opposite seat. Gail said Lyle may have been sleeping when the accident happened.
Gail said Mary Aileen managed to hold on to her seat because she noticed the trailer truck was about to ram the bus.
Gail said Lyle was thrown out of the bus by the impact and suffered fatal wounds.
Lyle was already dead when Gail arrived at the accident site at 5 p.m.
The Provincial Social Welfare Office said it will extend assistance to the families of the victims.
PSWO chief Evelyn Senajon said the families will each get P5,000 cash, a sack of rice, noodles and canned goods.
The province will also give P3,000 for the hospital expenses of those injured in the accident..
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB-7) said it will only suspend the bus involved in the accident and not the entire fleet of Calvo Bus Line operator Jovita Calvo.
“It will prevent the operator from substituting the unit with another unit using the same franchise number,” said Regional LTFRB–7 Director Ahmed Cuizon. With Correspondent Joy Cherry S. Quito and Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol