Death toll in Quezon smash-up now 19
LUCENA CITY, Philippines – The number of fatalities in the eight-vehicle smash up in Atimonan, Quezon pre-dawn on Saturday now stood at 19, police said.
Senior Superintendent Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan, Quezon police provincial director, said 46 persons were also injured in the road accident that happened along the diversion road in Barangay (village) Sta. Catalina at around 1 a.m. involving three passenger buses, four trucks and one trailer truck.
Ylagan, interviewed by phone from the accident site, said the Bicol-bound Super Lines bus with body number 441 was traversing the diversion road when its driver lost control of the vehicle.
The wayward bus subsequently collided with the incoming two cargo trucks, Isarog passenger bus (TYX-985), DLTB passenger bus (UYA 669), trailer truck (RMK-220) and also hit the rear part of a wing van before it finally stopped, Ylagan said.
All the fatalities died on the spot from injuries in different parts of their bodies. Most of them were crushed inside the wreckage of the vehicles.
Ylagan and the Quezon police information office so far identified only 13 of the 19 fatalities as:
1.Maria Teresa Diesmo
11.John Omar Talicol
12.A certain “Rajick” and
The Quezon police information office provided the names of injured victims from Super Lines bus now confined at Doña Marta Memorial Hospital in Atimonan, as follows:
1. Jonnel Paunil
2. Gracielle Paunil
3. Realyn Elot
4. Rosalia Laloma
5. Alena Maria Gaño
6. Elena Olit
7. Carl Francis Bacarro
8. Michael Angelo Gaño
9. Nestor Chavez Jr.
10. Charlimagne Ureña
11. Richelyn Albaracin
12. Shane Anne Pestejo
13. Maria Clara Rudino
Confined at the Emil Joahna Hospital, also in Atimonan, were:
16. Rodrigo Florendo
17. Nenita Laude
18. Adelyn Juego
19. Raymond Vejerano
20. Divina Solares
21. Laurence Pagaduan
22. Gina Yaguel
23. Kenjie Yaguel
24. Wilfredo Serrano Jr.
25. Delia Serrano
26. Rossel Marquita
27. Gracia Tarrobago
28. Stephanie Tarrobago
29. Melanie Alto
30. Liza Varona
31. Marites Orit
32. Rosirita Grapita
A Passenger of Isarog bus now treated at Emil Joahna Hospital, was:
34. Salvador Madrid
The 12 other unidentified wounded were brought to a hospital in nearby Gumaca town and Lucena City, said the Quezon police bulletin.
Chief Inspector Jomar Yupio, Atimonan police chief, said most of the fatalities were aboard the Super Lines bus, which was carrying a total of 49 passengers.
He said one jeepney was also involved but only suffered minor damage.
“Based from the testimonies of the truck drivers, they were (hit) by the incoming Super Lines bus. But the Super Lines bus driver was also saying that before he lost control of his bus, another vehicle bumped him from behind,” Yupio said.
The driver of the Super Line bus, Albert Nava, is now detained at the town jail.
Henry Buzar, coordinator of Quezon Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said he immediately dispatched a team of rescuers at the accident site.
“My staffs were having a hard time retrieving some of the wounded. Some of them were also pinned down inside the wreckage,” he said.
Yupio described the accident site as a dark place with no electric lamp post. “The road was also slippery because of the heavy rains,” he said.
Atimonan Mayor Jose Mendoza asked the Department of Public Works and Highways to put more traffic signs along the diversion road, a known accident-prone area.
“I noticed that the diversion road seriously lack road signs that could guide motorists especially during rainy nights. These trucks and buses have strong lights not to see the signs,” Mendoza said over the phone.
The DPWH had long been complaining that steel road signs were often pilfered by thieves which they would sell at the junk shops.
Yupio advised motorists to observe safety driving due to slippery road.
The accident caused a traffic jam along the highway. The road was temporarily blocked from motorists. Light vehicles were directed to take the old zigzag road.
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