1 dies, 40 hurt in NegOcc bus accident

BACOLOD CITY — A young woman died while 40 others were injured after a Ceres Liner bus fell on its side at Purok Kapayas, Barangay Pacol in Bago City, Negros Occidental on Monday afternoon.

The police identified the fatality as Anna Mae Declaro, 28, a resident of Barangay Ma-ao of the southern Negros city.

Captain Reynaldo Severino, deputy of Bago City Police Station, said in a radio interview that the vehicle was not speeding, according to witnesses’ accounts.

The bus was traveling from Bacolod on the way to Barangay Ma-ao around 1 p.m. when the accident happened. The driver, Aimer Paso, 28, hit the brakes while the vehicle was swerving, and the bus fell on its side.

Severino said that initial investigation did not indicate engine trouble.

Paso, who had bruises in his hands, was detained by the police.

Thirty-two passengers, including bus conductor Wilmar Palacios, who sustained minor injuries, were being treated at a hospital in Bago City.

Seven others, including a three-year-old boy, were brought to hospitals in Bacolod City after suffering serious injuries.

Jesideth Marquez-Seballos, legal and media relations manager of bus operator Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI), said the management is extending assistance to the passengers and their families.

As in previous incidents, the bus company will shoulder the funeral expenses and the hospital bills.

Marquez-Seballos said they will also conduct an internal investigation.

The accident was the third fatal crash involving Ceres Liner buses in Western Visayas in three weeks.

On the night of March 25, four passengers died while eight others were injured after a bus fell into a ravine along Barangay Igmayaan, Don Salvador Benedicto in Negros Occidental while traveling from San Carlos City to Bacolod City.

Three passengers also died while seven others were injured when a Ceres bus traveling from Iloilo to Antique, plunged into a 30-meter ravine in Barangay Igbucagay, Hamtic on the evening of April 5. Nanette Guadalquiver /PNA – northboundasia.com