Accident The Oster Liner minibus involved in the road mishap. Photo by BERNARD GALANG

7 killed, 9 hurt in post Christmas road tragedy

December 27, 2021 Bernard Galang 503 views

Victims assured of aid

SEVEN persons, including a one-year-old child were killed while nine others sustained serious injuries after a minibus hit a passenger tricycle, a “kolong-kolong”, a waiting shed and an electric post along Jose Abad Santos Avenue in Barangay San Isidro, Lubao, Pampanga on Dec. 26.

A local police report here identified the fatalities as Jun Valencia, 35, driver of the tricycle; May Anne Mendoza, 25; Julian Mcklain Mendoza, a 1-year-old infant; Justin Castro, 22; Trisha Gogolin, 22,; and bus conductor Armando De Guzman, 51.

Initial investigation showed the tricycle driven by Valencia was traveling towards the City of San Fernando when the Oster Liner minibus (CXR-488) driven by Orlando Bangit, 68, bumped it from behind, causing it to be swiped on the road’s shoulder and its driver and passengers thrown out of the vehicle.

The minibus then ran over some of the victims and continued speeding, bumping a kolong-kolong tricycle and hitting a waiting shed and an electric post located at least 50 meters away.

Two persons (Castro and Gogolin) in the waiting shed were killed after the structure was pulverized by the impact. The concrete electric post was cut into several parts and caused a power outage in the town.

As of press time, police investigators were still trying to determine the cause of the accident. They have yet to interrogate the bus driver who was being treated at the Jose B. Lingad Regional Hospital in San Fernando.

Seven of the injured were brought to the said hospital while the other two were at the Lubao District Hospital.

Police said the minibus driver will be charged with reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, multiple injuries and damage to properties.

In a separate interview Bong Nocum, Operations Manager of the Passenger Accident Management and Insurance Agency (PAMI), insurance provider of Oster Liner assured all the families of victims that they are taking care everything to gives all what is due to victims.

“Nung malaman po namin nung Linggo pa lang ng gabi tungkol sa tragedy, in close coordination agad kami sa bus operator, police at sa Land Transportation Franchising. and Regulatory Board para po sa assistance sa pamilya at mga biktima mismo,” said Nocum.

Nocum said two of their staff members based in Pampanga, including him are in constant contact to assure the company will provide all necessary needs of the victims.

“Ramdam po namin ang sakit at hapdi sa puso, isip at katawan ng mga nabibiktima ng mga aksidente. Kaya po tulad ng company policy basta PAMI sigurado ang claims mo, at maging si Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Chairman Atty. Martin Delgren III bilin po nya sa amin kapag may mga aksidente asikasuhin agad ang mga pamilya ng biktima at ang biktima mismo,” said Nocum.

Meanwhile, the Land Transportation Office-Region 3 said they will condunct their own parallel investigation on the vehicular tragedy. By BERNARD GALANG & JUN I. LEGASPI