Agencies asked to step up road safety after deadly Albay mishap

DARAGA, Albay (PNA) –- Authorities and residents have asked the concerned agencies to be more strict in issuing vehicle franchise and to put more road signs after three children and a 26-year-old pregnant teacher died and 35 others were injured in an accident involving an old passenger bus around 9:20 a.m. Sunday in Barangay Kimantong here.

Supt. Joel Adan, Daraga police chief, identified the casualties as Ryan Percibal Abrigo, 8, his sisters Georgina, 7, and Grace Ann, 4; and Princess Dichoso, who was two months pregnant, a public school teacher living in Barangay Capoy, Sorsogon.

The minors were children of Richard and Gina Abrigo of Barangay Salvacion, Pilar, Sorsogon.

Adan said the driver and 34 other passengers were injured when the Dondon Bus Liner they were riding lost its break while traversing a downward curve of the Maharlika Highway in the portion of Barangay Kimantong, Daraga, Albay.

Adan said two of the victims suffered fractured heads and smashed bodies that caused their instantaneous death, while the other two died while being treated at the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) here.

He said the transmission system of the bus, with body number 848 and plying the Sorsogon-Legazpi route, failed to function.

The bus, which was loaded with at least 38 passengers, slowly tilted and rammed a concrete fence while negotiating a sharp downward curve in Barangay Kimantong, an accident-prone area in Daraga town.

Adan said bus driver Romel San Buenaventura, 43, of Pamurayan, Sorsogon City, was already placed under their custody after he underwent a medical checkup for injuries he also suffered during the accident.

Bus conductor Alexander Mangapo, of Castilla, Sorsogon, reportedly fled the scene of accident.

Adan said the accident could have involved more people had it happened on a weekday.

He also explained that they have yet to verify the names they got due to confusing data their investigators were getting as some victims could not yet give clear accounts of what happened.

The fatalities were temporarily placed at the morgue of the BRTTH where the injured passengers were brought for treatment.

Sr. Supt. Marlo Meneses, Albay provincial police director, said the police are now determining other possible causes of the accident aside from break failure.

Meneses said the bus is already old and its important parts were almost disconnected from the main system.

This prompted concerned citizens to call on officials of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to be stricter in allowing old vehicles, especially passenger ones, to be on the road.

Meneses also asked the DPWH to put up more signs along the curved portion of the road.

He said humps cannot be placed on that road portion as it is a national road. (PNA) LAP/FGS/RBB/NIM/CBD/
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