One dead, 12 injured as bus plows into 15 vehicles

By Jennifer P Rendon

A delivery driver of a water refilling station was killed after a passenger bus allegedly lost its brake and plowed into multiple vehicles evening of Jan 26, 2023 in Janiuay, Iloilo.

Christian Alutaya, 23, of Barangay Matag-ub, Janiuay, Iloilo, died while undergoing treatment at the Iloilo Doctors’ Hospital in Iloilo City.

From Federico Roman Tirador Sr. Memorial District Hospital in January town, Alutaya was referred to the Iloilo City-based hospital but died around 10 a.m. Friday.

Wounded were Glen Madis, 29, also of Matag-ub vilkage, Janiuay; Jose Veles, 71, of SM Villa Janiuay; Rolet Porras, 37, of Jarden Street, Pototan, Iloilo; Norlyn Cubil, 25, of Barangay Gines Patag, Cabatuan, Iloilo; Rose Ann Celestial, 21, of Gines, Janiuay; and Ledesma Luceno of Poblacion Ilaud, Lambunao.

Also injured were Fatima Romarate, 38, of Barangay Sto. Tomas, Janiuay; Jose Archie Cañoso, 50, of Barangay Malusgod, Pototan; Alex Billena, 50, of Gines, Janiuay; Niel John Ledesma, 40, of Barangay Poblacion Ilaya, Pototan; Tracy Marie Borra, 24, of Barangay Bongol, Janiuay; and Mhecca Ella Lhyza Tan, 17, of Barangay Pandan, Lambunao.

Master Sergeant Eddie Roncal, Janiuay PNP traffic investigator, said that most of the injured were already out of hospital confinement.

Those who needed further medical attention are treated at the district hospital, except Billena, who’s now confined at The Medical City in Iloilo City.

Bus driver Jay-R Yco, 38, a resident of Ajuy, Iloilo, was unscathed and was placed in police custody after the incident.

The bus, which is plying the Iloilo-Tapaz (Capiz) route, was ferrying around 30 passengers when the incident happened.

Yco learned that he was having mechanical trouble after Cubil signaled that she wanted to alight from the bus.

Instead of stopping, the bus continued to navigate the downhill road and plowed several parked vehicles.

Roncal noted that there was an ongoing road widening project in the area, thus, vehicles had to slow down.

Among the vehicles hit by the bus were three topdown tricycles, three motorcycles, a passenger motorcycle, an Isuzu Sportivo SUV, a Kia Sportage crossover, a Rusco multi-cab, a Toyota Innova, an aluminum van, a Nissan Urvan utility van, and a jeepney and Elf truck of the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH).

Roncal said Yco insisted that he lost control of the vehicle.

“But his passengers and witnesses attested that the vehicle’s brakes could not have been working. If he indeed lost control of the vehicle, he could have managed to bring it to the right lane. But it took 15 vehicles and a distance of around 250 meters before the bus came to a stop,” he said.

As this developed, a representative from Ceres Transport has already signed an affidavit of undertaking citing that the company will shoulder the medical expenses of those injured and the lone casualty.

“But this wouldn’t prevent the victims from filing a case against the bus driver or the company,” Roncal said