Tourist bus crash leaves seven dead
by Harley Palangchao
Seven died while over 30 others were injured when a lowland-bound bus collided with a 14-wheeler truck Thursday night along Marcos Highway at Badiwan, Tuba, Benguet.
The fatalities were identified as Diane Lauria, a student; Jennelyn Lantura, 29, a teacher; Mariel Mingi, 24, also a teacher; driver Leopoldo Nana; tour guide Boyet Carlo Pintor; Princess Pastor Pitte; and Marvin Talantino.
Talantino was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.
The fatalities, together with the injured passengers, came to Baguio after an educational tour in the Ilocos Region. They were on their way back to Marinduque.
Majority of the injured passengers, who were from the Marinduque State College, were rushed to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center for treatment.
Initial reports said the bus was seen speeding on a downward portion of the highway when it collided with the truck that was going up to Baguio City.
Rescuers from the government and private sector including policemen and paramedics rushed to the accident site, which is near the site of the 2004 fatal accident that involved a byron Bus. Dozens of passengers were killed in that accident while scores were injured.
Marcos Highway is the main route connecting Baguio City and Cordillera and Northern Luzon provinces.
Grim statistics on vehicular accident-related deaths were released earlier by the Department of Health to inform the public, especially motorists to strongly support activities and programs lined up in the observance of the Road Safety Month.
Mechanical defect and human error are the two primary causes of the accidents. Other causes include inclement weather and poor road conditions.
To minimize car accidents, DOH has released a primer on road safety. The primer encourages drivers to check their vehicles regularly and not to drive when under the influence of liquor.
Drivers and passengers are also urged to use seatbelts and obey traffic rules and regulations. Putting into practice road courtesy can also help avert accidents.
The DOH reported road and car accidents have been listed in the top five leading causes of death in the country while health officials that time feared that road accidents could become the leading cause of death in the country by 2020.