The 5-year-old flower girl who was among the passengers of the Isuzu Canter truck that fell on its side in Purok Mabuhay, Barangay Pandanon, Don Salvador Benedicto town, in Negros Occidental Thursday afternoon, died from massive loss of blood, while 60 of her companions were injured, Insp. Celjun Nemenio, DSB police chief, said yesterday.
Gia Mae Montaño, 5, of Purok Malipayon, Brgy. Busay, Bago City, died at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod, Nemenio said.
The child's legs had been pinned beneath a wheel of the truck.
Nemenio also said the number of injured rose to 60 from the 47 initially reported, and seven of them were in critical condition. They were rushed to the CLMMRH and the Bacolod Adventist Medical Center.
Nemenio said the area where the accident occurred at Kilometer 36 is accident-prone.
The driver of the truck, Julibert Gonzales, 50, told the DAILY STAR Thursday night that he was driving downhill and maneuvering a curve in the road when he shifted gears and stepped on the brakes that malfunctioned, causing him to hit the cement barrier on the side of the road to prevent the vehicle from falling down a cliff at 4:45 p.m. Thursday.
The vehicle fell on its side and the people in the back of the truck were thrown off and that caused their injuries, he said.
Gonzales and the passengers, many of whom were his relatives, had gone to Calatrava town in northern Negros Occidental for a wedding, he also said.
They were on their way home to Purok Malipayon, Barangay Busay, Bago City, when the accident happened, he added.
Gonzales voluntarily surrendered to responding police officers.*CPG