Eight are dead and 56 injured after an overloaded jeepney with failed brakes crashed into two other vehicles and rolled over in Pagadian City.
Five of the passsengers died on the spot today (Wednesday, July 18), while the other three succumbed to their injuries at local hospitals in Zamboanga del Sur province.
Among the dozens of injured in the tragedy at 11.15am was jeepney driver Marlito Padaran, who suffered a broken leg.
Eyewitness Marisa Copat told the Inquirer that she was riding her motorcycle when she saw the jeepney careering down the road at speed.
It then crashed into two private vehicles before it turned rolled over at the side of the road.
Zamboanga del Sur Vice Governor Ace Cerilles posted on his Facebook account that 10 of the passengers remain in critical condition.
Among the dead were Dato Genecan, aged 15; Joselito Genecan, 50; Ernesto Genecan, 48; Mary Joy Genecan, 42; Pecay Florencion, 38; Lenda Baowan, 65; and, Jelou Macatolad, 13.
Pagadian City police chief Superintendent Alvin Saguban said investigations were continuing, particular into the matter of whether the jeepney was dangerously overloaded.
It is believed that most of the jeepney passengers were beneficiaries of the government’s Pantawid Pmilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), who are on their way to claim their cash grant.
The crash is only one of the high-casualty incidents we have reported on Philippine roads.
In April, a Dimple Star Transport bus plunged off a cliff killing 19 passengers. The owner later admitted that the vehicle was bought from a junk shop.
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 again 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.
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