MANILA, Philippines ? A 10-year-old Ateneo grade school student was killed while his nanny was injured when they were hit by a van inside the school campus on Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, on Tuesday afternoon.
Julian Carlo Miguel ?Amiel? Alcantara, a Grade 4 student, was declared dead on arrival at the New Era Hospital due to head injuries.
His nanny, Tata Suarez, 65, was treated at the school infirmary for leg injuries.
Supt. Rudie Valoria, head of the Quezon City Police District?s Traffic Enforcement Unit, identified the driver of the van that hit the victims as Ma. Theresa Torres, 37, an interior designer and a resident of Charbel Executive Village on Mindanao Avenue.
She surrendered to the police and remains in detention pending the filing of charges of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and physical injuries against her.
Valoria said the accident happened at around 4 p.m. Tuesday as students were dismissed from their classes.
Based on witnesses? accounts, Alcantara, who was with his older brother and sister, were walking with Suarez toward their vehicle when a speeding Toyota Hi-Ace (CRW-705), driven by Torres, hurtled toward them.
Suarez, apparently sensing that the van was going to hit them, pushed Alcantara?s older brother and sister safely out of the way.
?She could not reach the other boy because he was far away from her and then they got hit by the van,? a witness said.
The van struck Suarez in the legs, hit Alcantara and then ran over him. Despite this, witnesses said the driver of the van did not slow down. It only stopped when it hit a Honda CRV and a Kia van, they added.
Bystanders who rushed to the boy?s aid had to lift the van to get his body from under the vehicle. Still, it took some time before he was taken to the hospital.
?The parents who witnessed the accident were probably in shock because it took a while before another mother volunteered to take the boy in her car and bring him to the hospital,? a witness told the Inquirer, parent company of INQ.net.
Valoria said there was a possibility that Torres might have stepped on the wrong pedal, which led to the accident.
?Maybe as she was moving forward, she was shocked to see the children in front of her vehicle. Then instead of stepping on the brakes, she stepped on the accelerator,? he speculated.
The boy?s father, Jose Fernando Alcantara, told the Inquirer, that what happened was ?unthinkable.?
?My Amiel was the youngest of three sons, the most outdoor loving and gentle. He [swam] in Taal Lake. He would rather swim there than any swimming pool. He [subscribed] to National Geographic magazine,? he said.
Jose is the chief executive officer of Figaro Coffee Corp. and vice president for business development of the Philippine Stock Exchange.
He also wondered how it was possible for his son to be run over by a speeding car in the school?s parking lot.
A statement issued by the Ateneo Grade School through its headmaster, Fr. Norberto Bautista, and the Ateneo de Manila University through its president, Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, expressed their deep sorrow and condolences to the victim?s family.
It described the younger Alcantara as a valiant and responsible Boy Scout and a friend to many students.
?Ateneo assures the community that a proper and thorough investigation of the incident has been launched, and that counseling assistance is being provided to the affected families and students,? the statement read.
?[We request] the media to respect the privacy of the parties involved in the tragic accident, and of those members of the school community who were profoundly affected by Amiel?s sudden demise, during this time of prayer and mourning,? it added.
The victim?s wake is being held at the school?s Chapel of the Holy Guardian Angels.
As a final tribute to the young boy, the school?s Boy Scouts will forego their scheduled pass in review Friday and hold a Mass for their fellow scout instead, the statement said.