Passenger minibus crashes into tree, 1 dead

ABUCAY, Bataan — A bus conductor died while 14 passengers and the driver were injured when their passenger minibus crashed into an acacia tree at the Roman Superhighway here early morning of Saturday.

Bataan police and the Metro Bataan Development Authority reported that Roberto Cabantog, 42, of Orani, Bataan, was declared dead on arrival at the Bataan General Hospital in Balanga City.

Rushed to the same hospital were 12 passengers and driver Rommel Sayson. Two passengers were treated at the Isaac and Catalina Medical Center Hospital, also in Balanga City.

The front portion of the minibus was in total wreck after ramming into the big tree in Barangay Laon.

Rescue workers used chain block and power saw to remove the body of the conductor and some injured passengers who were pinned between seats.

The minibus came from San Fernando, Pampanga bound for Balanga City when the accident happened at 6:00 a.m. Saturday.

“I was surprised that the front portion of the bus was in total wreck,” said passenger Ramon Amos who was complaining of breast pain.

“The bus was running slow. Thus, I was shocked when it hit the tree,” passenger Shirly Yumang said. She sustained bruises on her lips and feet.

Police said the minibus driver claimed that he swerved to the right to avoid a motorcycle in front of him but rammed into a narra tree by the roadside.

Police are still investigating the incident. Ernie Esconde/