By Martin Sadongdong and Lyka Manalo
A tricycle passenger died while six others sustained various injuries when a 10-wheeler truck allegedly lost its break and accidentally rammed into a queue of vehicles along the President Jose P. Laurel Highway in Lipa City, Batangas Saturday morning.
Superintendent Ramon Balauag, chief of Lipa City police, identified the lone fatality as Joselyn Aguila, 56 years old, kitchen staff and a resident of Barangay Banay-Banay this city.
Initial investigation revealed that a Fuso truck (with plate number TDN 780) driven by one Dindo Organo, 49 years old from Candelaria, Quezon, was traversing President Jose P. Laurel Highway in Barangay Tamo, Lipa City around 9 a.m. when the accident happened.
“The driver claimed that he lost the brakes while driving. Since he didn’t want to hit any pedestrian on the sidewalk, he opted to crash the truck into the vehicles in front of him,” Balauag said.
According to Balauag, the truck came from Lucena City and was on its way to the city proper in Lipa.
In total, nine vehicles were swept by the truck, including a tricycle where Aguila was boarding. Other vehicles involved were a Honda Civic, Isuzu Closed Van, Toyota Wigo, Mitsubishi Montero Sports, Kia H-100, a passenger jeepney, Toyota Hilux and Mio Motorcycle.
The impact of the collision sent Aguila flying off the tricycle. The body of the victim was also dragged for a few meters before the truck came to a complete halt, the police said. Her body was brought to the St. Peter Funeral Homes in San Jose town.
Responding rescuers found it difficult to pull out the body of the victim as it was stuck under the wheels of the truck.
Meanwhile, the six other victims including two minors sustained slight injuries and were rushed to the Mary Mediatrix Medical Center for immediate treatment.
Organo was held at the Lipa City police station. Police said he may face charges for reckless imprudence resulting to homicide and multiple frustrated homicides.