2 killed, 26 hurt in STAR tollway bus accident

Posted at 05/16/2012 9:56 AM | Updated as of 05/16/2012 2:45 PM

BATANGAS, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - A 27-year-old mother and her 2-year-old son died while 26 others were injured in a vehicular accident along the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway on Wednesday morning.

Alarcon Ocfemia, STAR tollway operations officer, identified the fatalities as Rita Suege and her son Elijah Emmanuel Suege, residents of Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro.

Tollway officials said 16 passengers were brought to Mary Mediatrix Hospital in Lipa City while 10 more were rushed to San Jose District Hospital for treatment.

A Mindoro-bound RORO Bus (UVT 990) was heading towards Batangas Pier from Manila when the accident occured at around 8:20 am

Bus driver, identified only as J. Tolentino (not Leo Borilla as earlier reported; Borilla was the alternate driver/bus conductor), allegedly fell asleep and accidentally steered his bus into a half-meter deep canal along Kilometer 87 in Barangay Aya, San Jose, Batangas.

The fatalities were reportedly pinned under the bus after the fall.

Rescuers from the Philippine National Police, Red Cross, Bureau of Fire Protection and STAR Tollway helped in removing the victims from the wreckage.

Tolentino was brought to San Jose police station for an investigation. He is facing a charge of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and physical injuries. -- report from Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News Southern Tagalog