Five people were killed and 14 injured when an overloaded truck lost its brakes and ploughed into heavy traffic in Quezon City.
The 22-wheeler truck 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 yesterday (Thursday, October 26).
Local police commander Superintendent Rossel Cejas confirmed that the truck 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.”
CCTV footage captured before the collision shows the driver stopped the truck to check the brakes. However, he then drove off again after a few minutes.
The collision, which was captured on film by another driver’s dashcam also involved a motorcycle, car, tricycle and jeepney.
The injured were taken to St Mattheus hospital in San Mateo, the East Avenue Medical Hospital in Quezon City and the ‘Amang’ Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center in Marikina.
Traffic was disrupted for a number of hours after the collision.
Police have have arrested and detained the 47-year-old driver of the truck Nilo Calimutan.
Police have filed a case of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, multiple physical injuries and damage to property against him.
The collision has already led to calls for policy change on road safety.
Muntinlupa Representative Ruffy Biazon urged the government to prioritise the creation of a National Transportation Safety Board.
He said: “It is about time that we put a science to the determination of the cause of accidents beyond accepting claims like what the driver of the truck involved in the San Mateo-Batasan Road crash said that there was failure of the brakes.”
He added that he had filed a bill seeking to establish such a body way back in the 12th Congress, but “it has not gained momentum in spite of the repeated occurrence of transportation tragedies on land, sea and even air.”
Under House Bill 1725, the National Transportation Safety Board’s goals are to prevent future crashes and their consequences to life and property, to provide assistance to survivors and families and victims of transportation incidents; to ensure transportation safety standards are met, and to thoroughly probe road crashes.
A Senate bill filed by Senator Grace Poe in 2014, and again in 2016, also calls for the creation of the same body, along with the promotion of cost-effective measures for the transport sector and the commuting public.
Both bills are pending before their respective committees.
Footage of the moments leading up to the collision can be viewed via this link: