At least 11 people, including three children, were killed after two passenger vehicles collided in General Santos City.
Officials said today (Tuesday, October 23) that the accident occurred when a van crashed into an oncoming jeepney during a heavy downpour at 3.45pm yesterday.
Chief Inspector Yol Hilado, district police chief, said that one of the van’s tyres blew, causing the vehicle to lose control, swerve into the opposite lane and hit the jeepney.
Nine of the dead were passengers of the van and two were in the jeepney. The drivers of both vehicles were among the injured.
The van was headed to Sarangani from General Santos City and the jeepney was travelling in the opposite direction.
Charges for multiple murder and multiple physical injuries will be prepared and charged against both or one of the drivers, depending on the result of investigations, which are continuing.
Yesterday’s tragedy is only one of the high-casualty collisions that we have reported on Philippine roads.
In February last year, 14 people — most of them students on the way to a camping trip — were killed when their bus crashed in Tanay town in Rizal province. The tragedy was caused by failing brakes on a steep stretch of road, which sent the bus careering into a tree.
Then, in January this year, seven Canadian Filipino medics on a charity mission were killed when the driver of their van fell asleep at the wheel in Alegria Town, Cebu.
Highway fatalities remain stubbornly high in the Philippines due to combination of poor law enforcement, dilapidated vehicles and lack of safety features on the roads. More than 10,000 people are killed on the nation’s roads every year, with the death toll continuing to rise year on year.
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