Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, January 27, 2006

Reckless driving caused smash-ups, says MNTC

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Blame it on reckless driving.

Citing the results of their initial investigation, Rod Sicatore, traffic control specialist of the Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC), said a van driver driving too fast despite the heavy rains triggered the 16-vehicle smash-ups on the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Wednesday afternoon that left three people dead and 16 others injured.

Police said Josephine Konghun, wife of Subic, Zambales Mayor Jeffrey Konghun, was among the fatalities. The two others were identified as Jocelyn Reyes and Elino de la Cruz, driver of a Genesis Liner bus.

Sicatore said the driver of a Hi-Ace van lost control of the wheel, sending his vehicle turning turtle near the Sta. Rita exit in Guiguinto, Bulacan.

A 10-wheeler truck behind the van slowed down, sending the Genesis Liner bus crashing into it at Kilometer 39, "escalating the mishap up to Kilometer 41," he said.

Sicatore said motorists at Kilometer 40 apparently saw the accident and slowed down, too, causing vehicles to smash into each other’s rear.

"Our initial investigation showed that reckless driving was to blame for the accident, but we will still continue to investigate and announce the results as soon as it finished," said Marlene Ochoa, MNTC vice president for corporate communications.

Ochoa said the MNTC’s British consulting firm and its NLEX operator, Tollways Management Corp., are separately probing the incident.

"We would like to assure the public that the entire length of the expressway is safe," she said.

Those injured in the smash-ups have been discharged from the Bulacan provincial hospital in Malolos City. — Ding Cervantes, James Mananghaya and Ric Sapnu - The Philippine Star


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