Benguet police files raps vs. bus driver in fatal mishap


BAGUIO CITY — The municipal police office of Tuba town filed on Tuesday a case of reckless imprudence resulting in double homicide and multiple injuries, and damage to property against the driver of the bus that figured in an accident on Monday.

Two persons died while 19 others were hurt in the mishap that occurred at 1:15 p.m. in Sitio Bayacsan, Barangay Taloy Sur, Tuba.

Tuba chief of police, Chief Inspector James Acod, said the case was filed at the Benguet Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in La Trinidad against Maximo Alday, Jr., driver of the Victory Liner bus (CXU 533).

Acod said the Baguio-bound bus from Caloocan City avoided a speeding vehicle which was ascending on the other side of the road along a sharp curved portion of Marcos highway.

He added that according to the driver, he lost control of the vehicle causing it to hit a concrete barrier and two electric posts that fell on the bus. Due to the impact, the electric posts crushed the right side portion of the bus’ roof, resulting in the instantaneous death of bus conductor Joseph Ryan Mesana Lalong and passenger Melba Suarez of Malabon City.

Rafael Valencia, emergency volunteer rescuer of 911 On Call, in a separate interview said they responded to the call and saw the two persons who were crushed by the damaged part of the bus. He said it was difficult to extricate them.

In a statement provided to the local media, Victory Liner operations manager Ronald Sarmiento said the bus company is cooperating with the police in its investigation and that it has sent an emergency team to assist the victims.

“We deployed our emergency team composed of several company representatives to ascertain the condition of passengers and provide them with fast and sufficient medical and financial assistance,” Sarmiento said.

He added, “We empathize with the people affected by this accident and we will work hard with the community to avoid such accidents in the future.”

It was learned that those who suffered minor injuries have been sent home. The bus company will still look into their condition as well as extend financial assistance to the family of the two fatalities.  Photo courtesy of Rafael Valencia