Bus driver in field trip death faces raps
The driver of a tourist bus which rolled down a sloping road and hit two high school students, killing one of them and leaving the other with severe injuries, faces multiple charges as one of the victims’ father called on education officials to ban field trips.
Supt. Samuel Delorino, Tanay police chief, said Monday that charges of negligence resulting in homicide and serious physical injuries would be filed against Carlos Villanueva, 63, in the Rizal provincial prosecutor’s office Tuesday.
Villanueva, according to the police, was the driver of the Advocate tourist bus which—while parked with its engine running—rolled down a sloping road and hit two second year high school students of the Holy Spirit Academy of Malolos in Bulacan province.
Rio Bianca Ramirez, 14, was declared dead on arrival at a nearby military hospital after she was ran down by the bus while her classmate, Pamela Joyce Ann Enriquez, 15, suffered serious injuries after the vehicle pinned her against a parked Hummer. She was taken to Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City where she remains confined.
The accident happened on Feb. 8 as the students were on a field trip at Camp Capinpin, the military training center and headquarters of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division in Tanay, Rizal.
In his defense, Villanueva told the police he had engaged the bus’ hand brake before he alighted from the vehicle to put some water in the radiator at the back of the vehicle.
At that time, the girls had their backs to the bus as they were busy taking pictures.
Delorino said the charges against the bus driver would be filed by Ramirez’s father, Ray, and Enriquez’s guardians.
In a television interview, Ray Ramirez said he would file all the necessary charges to get justice for his daughter’s death.
At the same time, he called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to ban field trips to ensure the safety of students. Education Assistant Secretary Tony Umali, meanwhile, said in a radio interview that they were aware of the need for learning experiences for students outside the classroom as he added that the DepEd would also investigate the circumstances behind the accident.