CEBU CITY, Philippines — A midwife was killed while 10 persons were wounded on Sunday morning when a passenger bus crashed into a tree and fell on its right side along the national highway of Talaga, Argao town, in southern Cebu.
Maria Teresa Ceballos, 45, a resident of Moalboal town, died on the spot when her body was crushed by the bus after she was thrown off from the vehicle upon impact.
“She was seating near the window when she was thrown off and her body was pinned by the bus,” said Police Officer 3 Von Tecson, Argao police homicide investigator.
He said that based on witnesses’ account, Ceres bus 8304 (plate number CEH 994) was chasing another bus, Sunrays, about 10:45 a.m. as the drivers of the two vehicles were apparently having a contest on who could pick up more passengers at the Argao town proper.
Ceres came from Samboan town and was heading to Cebu City like the Sunrays bus.
After overtaking Sunrays, Ceres driver Ernesto Zerna failed to control the Ceres bus as it was running too fast and the road was slippery, Tecson said, citing initial findings of police investigation.
The Ceres bus rammed a big Gmelina tree along the national highway of Talaga, about three kilometers from the town proper.
The tree was cut in half and the bus flipped on its right.
Zerna, 33, of Cebu City, denied he was over-speeding, saying the accident was caused by a slippery road during a drizzle.
Zerna, who was hurt in the left hand, was fetched by the Argao policemen at the hospital and was detained at the police station to face charges of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide with multiple physical injuries and damage to property.
Tecson said six of the passengers suffered minor injuries. Four were confined at the hospital for observation.
Injured were Darlyn Heredia , 19 of Dalaguete; Alma Medalle, 46 of San Fernando town; Iza Mae Pangilinan, 21 of Alcoy town; Joseph Biraque, 27, Cagayan de Oro City; and Carlito Sereño, 53 and conductor John Lovi Cabanas, 23, both of Santander town.
Also hurt were Fritz Abella, 22; Harold Alcatin, 39 and Ian Nel Ladera , 21, of Cebu City.