9 killed in bus-truck collision in N. Ecija

Posted at 09/26/2012 7:26 AM | Updated as of 09/27/2012 10:20 AM

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – At least 9 people were killed in a collision between a passenger bus and an oil truck in Nueva Ecija before dawn Wednesday.

Senior Superintendent Walter Castillejo, Nueva Ecija Police provincial director, said the collision between a Manila-bound Victory Liner bus and an oil truck occurred along Maharlika Road in Sitio Curva, Barangay Bantog in Muñoz town at around 2:30 a.m.

Six people on board the bus, including driver Ryan Camangueg, were killed in the collision.

Four passengers who were killed were identified as Donatela Aquino, Marife Bondoc, Martina Tangilan and Enrile Cugayan.

Truck driver Silvino Marzo and motorcycle riders, couple Leoncio and Evangeline Pajarillo, also died.

Castillejo said the bus was carrying 46 people, including the driver and a conductor. At least 9 other passengers were injured and brought to a hospital.

Some of them were identified as Arlene Echavari, Zorayda Sagadraca, Girlie Cabalar, Bernard Asperela and Herion Magwas.

Barangay tanod Reynaldo Ignacio said the bus avoided the motorcycle in front of it and then hit the approaching Isabela-bound truck on the opposite lane.

The bus conductor survived the crash, while the truck driver's companion escaped death by jumping off the truck before the collision. Both are now under police custody.

Police said the curved portion of the highway is prone to accidents.

“Wala namang ulan eh, maganda ‘yung road condition at kakaunti ‘yung sasakyan. Maaari nating tignan kung driver’s error, baka mali ‘yung kalkulasyon niya sa motor,” said Supt. Michael Angelo Zuniga, Muñoz police chief.

The management of Victory Liner said they will assist the injured passengers and the families of the fatalities.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, meanwhile, said it may suspend the provincial operation of the bus line if the driver is proven guilty. – with reports from Zandro Ochona, dzMM; Atom Araullo, ABS-CBN News