2 dead, 42 hurt in Catanduanes road accident
VIRAC, Catanduanes—At least two passengers died while 42 others were hurt when a bus carrying supporters of a gubernatorial candidate crashed into a mountainside in Viga town in Catanduanes province on Sunday afternoon, police reports on Monday said.
Police said the bus was bound for the town center of Viga and negotiating a downhill road in Barangay (village) Pedro Vera when its brakes malfunctioned at 2:50 p.m. This forced its driver, Romy Evangelista, to steer the bus toward a mountainside to avoid falling into a ravine.
Passengers on the vehicle’s roof (commonly referred here as “topload”) were thrown off when the bus crashed.
Police said Wilfredo Dolores Sr., 70, of Bagamanoc town, and Jojo Tupue of this town, died while being taken to the Viga District Hospital.
Most of the injured were taken to the Eastern Bicol Medical Center (EBMC) in the capital town of Virac.
Police said 16 of the passengers were volunteers of Vice Gov. Jose Teves Jr., who is running for governor. They were returning home after an outing at the Puraran Beach Resort in Baras town.
An Inquirer source, who asked not to be named due to lack of authority to speak to reporters, said Teves had rented the bus for the volunteers’ trip, but the driver apparently decided to pick up passengers along the way to earn extra.
Evangelista, who was among the injured taken to a hospital here, was arrested by the police.
Teves visited the victims at EBMC and assured them that they would be given free treatment and financial assistance, reports said. JE/rga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.