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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, February 18, 2011
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Driver of killer
bus says sorry


The driver of a mini-bus that figured in an accident in Escalante City, Negros Occidental, Wednesday, apologized for the deaths and injuries of his passengers, maintaining that it was an accident.

Walter Yap, who was unhurt in the accident, said he lost control of the bus when the brakes appeared to be stuck and malfunctioned, and this resulted in the accident.

The mini-bus owned by Norman Gustaman, turned turtle three times, causing deaths of four students, and injuries to 19 other passengers, police records show.

Supt. Santiago Rapiz, Escalante police chief, said Yap, who is now detained at the police lock-up cell, will be charged for reckless imprudence resulting to multiple homicide.

The Cebro mini-bus, with 34 passengers, was on its way to Sagay City from Brgy. Minapasok, Calatrava, when the accident took place.

The four fatalities were students of Dian-ay National High School in Escalante City, and all residents of Brgy. Bug-ang, Toboso.

Rapiz said the owner of the vehicle has already coordinated with families of the fatalities and injured victims.

Police investigations also showed that the vehicle driven by Yap was overloaded with passengers, many of them  students who were on their way back to school, after their lunch break.

Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday said the Land Transportation Office should inspect public utility vehicles, like the mini-bus that figured in the  accident in Escalante for their road worthiness.

The governor said the vehicle may have figured in the accident because it was going fast.

Drivers must be instructed not to drive fast as they are endangering the lives of their passengers, he said.

The LTO should also inspect mini buses for their road worthiness, because most of them are just locally assembled, he added.*GPB



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