Seven people were killed and four injured when a truck loaded with sugarcane crashed into a roadside restaurant in the Batangas town of Taal.
Eyewitnesses described how the vehicle was hit by another truck, causing it to skid and plough into the eatery on Wednesday (March 28).
Most of the victims were enjoying their breakfast at M J Eatery in Barangay Carsuche when the 10-wheeler crashed at 6am.
Killed instantly were Melecio Atienza; Jennifer Atienza; Chelvier Aninon; Susan Hombre; Babylyn Gamo; Ricardo Tabugon and Ramir Aguado.
Four others – identified as Orly Capuso, Diana Uy, Danilo Madiclum, and Bayani Muñoz Torres – were taken to Taal Polymedic Hospital and Medical Center.
Batangas police spokesman Senior Inspector Hazel Luma-ang said the first sugarcane truck was travelling from Barangay Buli when its brakes malfunctioned, causing it to hit the parked vehicle.
She said the impact caused the second truck to skid and smash into the restaurant. The runaway truck also damaged six other vehicles parked nearby.
It was unclear whether the sugarcane trucks were travelling together, as both drivers had escaped after the crash.
Rowena Almazan, municipal disaster risk reduction and management officer of Taal, said most of the victims died after being pinned under the second truck.
“The road was not even downhill. It was right after a curve, but it was straight and flat,” she said.
In October, we reported on another fatal crash involving a runaway truck.
Five people were killed and 14 injured when it lost its brakes and ploughed into heavy traffic in Quezon City.
The 22-wheeler was carrying 60 tons of metal when its brakes failed and it smashed into five vehicles along San Mateo road in Batasan at about 3pm on October 26.
Police commander Superintendent Rossel Cejas said it was overloaded by about 40 tons.
“One of the reasons the truck lost its brakes was because it was overloaded,” he said. “Its capacity is 20 tons of steel, but he said the shipment weighed more than 20 tons — about 60 tons.”