Runaway truck slams into vehicles, religious event in Quezon
TAYABAS CITY, Quezon—One person was killed and two others were seriously injured when a trailer-truck lost its brakes while negotiating a descent on the Maharlika Highway and slammed into several other vehicles and a throng of Iglesia ni Cristo members arriving in the area for a day-long evengelical event.
The fatality and the two critically injured persons had yet to be identified by the authorities, but one of those who suffered only minor injuries was a policeman directing traffic in area where thousands of Iglesia ni Cristo followers were arriving on foot or in vehicles, police officer Aldolfo Buhay said.
Buhay was guarding the truck driver from angry relatives of the victims inside a building housing a radio station just meters away from the accident site. He said traffic policeman Ephraim Ebea suffered a minor injury in the face but he declined to be hospitalized.
Buhay said the accident happened around 6:45 a.m., compounding an already worsening traffic situation on that stretch of the Maharlika highway in light of the Iglesia event.
According to an earlier Iglesia media advisory, an estimated 1,000 vehicles transporting sect members from different towns in Quezon and nearby provinces were expected to arrive in Tayabas.
At past 7 a.m., the still unidentified body of the male fatality was seen still lying on the pavement pinned between two buses, one of which was first hit in the rear by the wayward trailer-truck.
Buhay said the two seriously injured victims were rushed by their relatives to a hospital in nearby Lucena City.
Leonardo Peleselda, the truck driver, told the Inquirer he realized he was losing his brakes when he was negotiating a descent after passing the Calumpang junction.
“My brakes lost air compression,” he told the Inquirer. He said he came from Manila and was bound for Naga City to deliver groceries.
The driver was taken by police inside the radio station building to protect him from angry relatives of the victims.
The runaway truck first hit a bus ahead of its, triggering a multiple collision that involved three other trucks, a car and a Toyota FX.
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