Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, January 30, 2006

North expressway is safe: tollways corporation

By Marna H. Dagumboy, Sun Star

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Officials of the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) yesterday assured the general public that the North Luzon Expressway (Nlex) was built according to world-class standards, giving utmost priority to public safety.

MNTC president and chief executive officer (CEO) Jose "Ping" de Jesus issued this assurance in light of deaths resulting from three vehicular accidents that occurred on the Nlex last Wednesday at the height of a heavy downpour spawned by tropical depression Agaton.

"We offer our sympathies to the bereaved families of the fatalities knowing that life lost is irreplaceable. For this reason, we make sure that the Nlex is safe, but at the same time, we advise all motorists to be aware of the hazards of speeding beyond limits," de Jesus said.

He said most road accidents were principally caused by driver error, adding that some drivers have a tendency to maintain high speed despite the rain that drastically reduces tire traction.

"No road, no matter how perfectly built, could guarantee zero accident if the drivers themselves are not careful," de Jesus said.

He also noted that thorough investigations are being conducted regarding unfortunate incidents that killed three and 16 others were injured in a collision.

The MNTC consulting engineers and traffic enforcers launched an inquiry as Nlex traffic crews heightened patrols to alert motorists to observe safe driving and speed limits that are prominently displayed on Nlex signs.

Last Wednesday, three people died while 16 others were injured in accidents in various portions of the North Luzon Expressway (Nlex).

The fatalities were identified as Elmo dela Cruz, driver of a Genesis bus; Josephine "Josie" Congjun, wife of Subic town mayor Jeffrey Congjun; and one Jocelyn Reyes, believed to be Congjun's aide.

The MNTC reported that multiple collisions transpired along the southbound lane of the expressway on Wednesday because of slippery road conditions due to heavy rains.

The first of the smash-ups, which transpired at 2 p.m. between the exit points of Pulilan and Sta. Rita in Bulacan, triggered a chain reaction where oncoming vehicles were not able to stop in time to avoid the accident.

The accident involved a Toyota Hi-Ace van, which skidded and fell on its side as it was approaching Nlex Kilometer 39. Witnesses said the van skidded and hit the road barrier before turning turtle thrice.

A 10-wheeler truck behind the van stopped abruptly causing a Genesis bus behind it to ram into its rear followed by four other vehicles including an Isuzu Trooper and a six-wheeler truck.


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