FOUR Daanbantayan residents were killed in a head-on collision between a van-for-hire (V-hire) and a Ceres bus along the national highway in Barangay Estaca in the northern Cebu town of Compostela at 3 a.m. Friday, March 13, 2020.
Five persons were also hurt. They had been rushed to the Cebu Provincial Hospital in Danao City before they were brought to a hospital in Cebu City.
The fatalities were identified as Gyl Dyrul Narita Preciados, 37, a resident of Barangay Poblacion; Mark Abraham Villanica, 36, a resident of Barangay Maya; Maricel Gipgano Olasiman, 38, from Barangay Calape; and Junree Arojado Gogo, 34; a resident of Guimbawian, Poblacion.
The V-hire was driven by Patrick Tolo, 20, a resident of Barangay Tapilon, Daanbantayan town, while the Ceres bus was driven by Jerry Lubon, 32, a resident of Barangay Libertad, Bogo City.
The southbound V-hire came from Daanbantayan. The Ceres bus departed from the Cebu North Bus Terminal in Mandaue City.
Initial investigation showed that the van had been running at a high speed before it collided with the bus.
“Aside from driving at high speed, the surviving passengers of the V-hire said the driver counterflowed, resulting in the collision. When we went to the area, we found that three male passengers were dead on the spot while a female passenger died in the hospital,” Patrolman Jessie Vasquez of the Compostela Police Station said in Cebuano.
The van’s body and roof were destroyed due to the impact.
The windshield of the Ceres bus, on the other hand, was shattered while a huge chunk of its left headlight was torn off.
Bus driver’s claim
In a separate interview, Lubon said he was driving within the speed limit. He said he was not in a rush because he had only two passengers aboard and he was cautious as it was an early trip.
“I was driving between 40 to 50 kilometers per hour. The V-hire suddenly counterflowed and it was driving too fast. That’s why I wasn’t able to avoid it,” Lubon said in Cebuano.
One of the van’s passengers, Lord Ian Ygot, said they were already running at a high speed even when they were still in Daanbantayan. He was asleep when the collision happened.
Aside from Ygot and Lubon, the other injured persons were V-hire passengers Mark Lester Briones, 35, a resident of Barangay Tapilon, Daanbantayan; and William Lanzadares, 37, a resident of Lapu-Lapu City. Tolo was reportedly in critical condition.
Lubon was detained at the Compostela Police Station while awaiting charges. (AYB / RTF)