Bus rams truck on SCTEX; 3 killed, 23 hurt
Three people were killed while 23 others were injured after a Five Star bus going to Dagupan, Pangasinan hit a truck loaded with acetylene gas tanks along the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) in Concepcion Tarlac, police said Wednesday.
Concepcion police chief Supt. Augusto Pasamonte said the accident happened on the northbound lane of the SCTEX at around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Guzman said the driver of the six-wheeler truck, identified as Emmanuel Retardo, was about to take the second lane from the emergency bay when the Five Star bus driven by Rolando Untalan rammed its rear.
“Ang initial investigation po yung truck ay galing sa emergency lane papasok po siya doon sa line two para makabwelo na, yung bus nasa hulihan po siya, possible po nabulaga siya at tinamaan po yung sa may likuran ng truck,” Guzman said in an interview.
(The initial investigation is the truck was about to take lane two from the emergency lane and the bus driver did not see it, hitting it in the rear.)
Guzman said the impact caused the two vehicles to hit the highway’s railings and fall into a creek outside the expressway’s lanes.
The acetylene tanks then exploded, causing the bus to catch fire. Three passengers were trapped in the burning bus, police said.
Guzman said the three passengers were burned beyond recognition and were already taken by the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) to Lotus Funeral Homes in Tarlac City.
According to Guzman, Retardo and his helper, Victor Ayen, were rushed to the Dr. Eutiquio Atanacio Memorial Hospital, together with bus passengers: Tammy Tagana, 24; Arnolfo Quinto, 59; Alfie Fernandez, 29; Carolyn Fernandez, 24; Rose Ann Agbanlog, 26; Criselda Joy Pascua, 25; Richard Sabiron, 29; Beth Carbonel, 25; and Felisa Bagon, 24.
Untalan, meanwhile, was rushed to the Concepcion District Hospital, together with nine other passengers identified as: Veronico Policarpio, 48; Dionisio Tibonsay, 33; Shaian Amor Sotto, 34; Sharah Jane Esteban, 41; Mylene Martinez, 41; Jerome Ian Lee Balagtas, 19; Meriam Reyes, 25; a 17-year-old pregnant teenager and a 12-year-old boy.
Meanwhile, passengers Manny Agravante, 36, and Jhomar Samson, 24, were rushed to the Tarlac Provincial Hospital.
Untalan is now facing charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, multiple physical injuries, and damage to property. /muf
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