By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — A La Union bound Eso-Nice passenger mini-bus plunged into a 150 feet deep ravine along the highway in Sitio Guiwing, Barangay Banangan, Sablan, Benguet killing 42 and seven seriously injured.The said bus had 47 passengers in it including the driver and the conductor.
The Eso-Nice bus with body number 801 and plate no. AVB 549 left Baguio at eight in the morning, while traversing a curve along the Quirino Highway or Naguillian Road in Banagan, it suddenly went out of control at around 9:30 am.
Police said in their initial investigation that faulty brakes may be the cause of the malfunction that resulted to the accident.
According to reports, the bus conductor John Patrick Flores, said the driver, Romeo Subang, sensed some mechanical malfunction and tried to stop the vehicle against a mango tree but the tree was only uprooted by the impact and even took the rooftop of a nearby house before the bus lunged into the ravine.
Flores managed to jump out of the bus. Subang was seriously wounded and is now at the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital. The victims were brought to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC).
The fatalities include Frederick and Rose Quinio and their children Nicole and Michael, Berio Almasen, Carlos Angeles, Amethyst Calado, Enrique Hao, Renato Limid, Rex Arsichu, Constantino Casugay, Glen Lustica, Octavio Polon, Francisco Sales, Jon Laigo, Marlon Paleg, Gabino Pilay, Albert and Carlota Anthony, Pablito Diocenes, Roger Torida, Karen Mae Piluden, Jonjon Dimalanta, Berio Almasen, Glen Lustica, Rex Arsito, Joey Combis, Ariane Combis, Roger Florida, Pastora Doey, Oscar Dumo, Myra Santiago. Among those killed are two media workers namely; Joson and Nida Ricamata. Other victims are yet to be identified.
Those who survived the crash were Desiree Jucar, 5-year-old John Ray Jucar, Arnel Paras and Jay Angelo Gundran of Baguio; 17-year-old Darwin Lumboy of La Trinidad, Benguet, Juan Graycocho of Naguilian town; and Jerome Valdez of San Fernando.
The Land and Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) immediately suspended the franchise of EsoNice Bus for a month pending the investigation and probe of Esonice’s franchice and vehicles’ road wothiness.
This is not the first time that an Eso-Nice bus figured in a road mishap along this same road. # nordis.net