Police are hunting the driver of a truck that rammed 19 vehicles in Santa Rosa City causing horrendous death and destruction.
Six people — two of them children — were killed and 14 were injured in the accident that happened at 11.30pm yesterday (Saturday, December 8). The collision also caused severe damage to a roadside bakery and private residence.
Superintendent Eugene Orate, chief of the Santao Rosa City Police Station, said the truck, driven by Anthony Bernardo, was running downhill on the highway when its brakes failed.
The truck was loaded with steel bars and was heading towards Cabuyao City when the collision occurred.
“According to the driver’s helper, he was telling the driver to crash their truck onto something on the side of the road. But the driver told him: ‘No, I can do this’,” Supt. Orate said.
When they reached Santa Rosa, the truck rammed into 15 cars, two motorcycles and two tricycles on its way but the impact was not enough to stop it.
In one of the tricycles was Lorelyn Rosel Sumadsad and her father Magdaleno. Lorelyn was trapped inside the vehicle and killed. She had been on her way to celebrate her 22nd birthday when the collision occurred. Her father remains in critical condition at Santa Rosa Medical City.
Supt. Orate said the truck continued for another 100 to 250 metres before ramming into a bakery where brothers Jerome and Jayson Baluya were working. Both of them were killed.
The truck then hit a house where three other people were sleeping – Juvelyn Floresco Delizo, her two-year-old daughter Ariane Kaye Yllera, and one-year-old niece Quelah Ayesha Velasco. All of them died.
“The impact was so strong it smashed the concrete wall of the bakery,” Supt. Orate said.
It took police and rescuers six hours before the stretch of the road where the accident happened was cleared.
Heavy equipment were also needed to extricate the fatalities and the truck, which has been impounded by police.
The driver’s helper told police it was only after they hit the house that they got out of their vehicle. At this point Bernado was found to be missing, presumably having fled the scene.
The police will file a case of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, physical injuries, and damage to properties against him.