DPWH checks safety of dike road after crash killed cop, hurt Mikey
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said it was not closing an alternative road along FVR Megadike in Pampanga province where a collision on Monday killed a policeman and injured the eldest son of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
PO2 Alexander Villamin, 35, died when his car hit the vehicle carrying former Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo at 3:30 p.m. on Monday along the megadike at the boundary of Bacolor and Porac towns.
“There is no need to close the eastern megadike while we do safety assessment or install additional speed limit signboards … The road is beneficial to motorists connecting to northern and western Pampanga and to Bataan and Olongapo City through the [Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway],” said Antonio Molano, DPWH director in Central Luzon.
Pampanga Vice Gov. Dennis Pineda, one of the first responders, said Arroyo’s Toyota Hi-Lux pickup truck, driven by John Frederick Macaraeg, was “slow because it was trailing a lead car.” But Villamin, who was approaching in a sedan, shifted lanes, Pineda said.
Villamin, a member of the Philippine National Police Regional Public Safety Battalion and a resident of Nueva Ecija province, died instantly.
Arroyo was sleeping on the front passenger seat and suffered a head wound when he hit the windshield due to the crash. He was taken to St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City.
“His eyes were swollen but he’s out of danger. Tests showed he did not suffer any internal bleeding,” Pineda said.
Another passenger in Arroyo’s car, Edward Mendoza, was unhurt.
The DPWH regional office assumed jurisdiction of alternative roads on the 56-kilometer megadike after the agency’s Mt. Pinatubo Emergency-Project Management Office (MPE-PMO) completed the lahar-trapping structure in February 2006.
MPE-PMO built vertical clearances to stop trucks from using the eastern megadike. It put up signs that enforce a 60 kph speed limit and placed concrete barriers to prevent vehicles from falling down the dike. —TONETTE OREJAS
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