6 dead, 14 hurt as truck rams 19 vehicles in Laguna
Updated @ 6:13 p.m., Dec. 9, 2018
SAN PEDRO CITY — Police are still looking for the driver of the delivery truck that rammed 19 vehicles before crashing into a roadside bakery and a house in Santa Rosa City in Laguna province.
Six people — two them children — were killed and 14 were injured in the accident that happened around 11:30 p.m. Saturday on the busy Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road in Barangay Santo Domingo.
Traffic at that time was heavy with many people coming home from Tagaytay City in Cavite and Nuvali, a popular shopping and commercial district in Santa Rosa, police investigators said.
In a phone interview, Supt. Eugene Orate, chief of the Santao Rosa City Police Station, said the truck, driven by Anthony Bernardo, was running downhill on the highway when it lost its brakes.
The truck was still in Silang, Cavite.
The truck was headed to Cabuyao City in Laguna to deliver steel bars.
“According to the [truck] helper, he was telling the driver to crash their truck onto something on the side of the road. But the driver told him: ‘Hindi, kaya ko ito.’ [No, I can do this],” Orate said.
When they reached Santa Rosa, the truck rammed into 15 cars, two motorcycles, and two tricycles on its way but the impact was not enough to stop it.
It dragged one of the tricycles parked on the roadside. In the tricycle were Lorelyn Rosel Sumadsad and her father were onboard.
Sumadsad’s father managed to jump out, sustaining some injuries. But Lorelyn Rosel was pinned and dragged with the tricycle.
Lorelyn was supposed to celebrate her 22nd birthday that evening.
Orate said the truck continued moving for another 100 to 250 meters before hitting a bakery where brothers Jerome and Jayson Baluya were. Both of them died.
The truck then hit a house where three other people were sleeping – Juvelyn Floresco Delizo, her two-year-old daughter Ariane Kaye Yllera, and one-year-old niece Quelah Ayesha Velasco.
All of them died.
“The impact was so strong it smashed the concrete wall of the bakery,” Orate said.
It took police and rescuers six hours before the stretch of the road where the accident happened was cleared.
Heavy equipment were also needed to extricate the fatalities and the truck, which was taken to the police impouding area.
The truck helper, who was under police investigation, told police it was only after they hit the house that they got out of their vehicle. But Bernardo was already nowhere to be seen.
The police will file a case of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, physical injuries, and damage to properties against Bernardo. /je /atm
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