Three people died and at least 77 others were injured after a tourist bus and a ten-wheeler cargo truck collided along Diversion Road in Barangay (Village) Sta. Catalina, Atimonan, Quezon Province last night.
But instead of getting much-needed help, passenger Izen Maghiran said that thieves took advantage of the situation and stole their belongings.
“I went back to the bus to get my valuables. When I got on, there were men aboard who were not passengers. They were looking through bags. One of them got two wallets… Instead of helping, they took our money, food,” she said in Filipino on GMA News‘ Unang Balita.
Atimonan police chief Police Major Michael Encio said that the Bicol-bound tour bus driven by Maximo Leoriego was traversing along the downhill stretch of Diversion Road when it collided with the Manila-bound cargo truck at 6pm, The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.
The truck driver was identified as Benedict Borja Belencio, 29, while the truck assistant was identified as Michael Gerona Sy, 28. Both died on the spot. Meanwhile, a bus passenger identified as Pio Jacob Del Monte, 46, also died in the crash.
According to the police, the tourist bus overtook another car just moments before the incident. Police said that the bus’ brakes failed to work before colliding with the truck.
The injured passengers were brought to the Doña Martha Memorial District Hospital and to the Nuestra Señora Delos Angeles General Hospital in Atimonan, another GMA News report wrote. Some passengers were also transferred to a hospital in Lucena City.
Leoriego, the bus driver, is now under police custody.
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