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3 killed, 77 injured in Quezon vehicular collision

LUCENA CITY, Philippines – Three people were killed and at least 77 others were injured after a Bicol-bound tourist bus and a ten-wheeler cargo truck collided head-on along the Maharlika Highway diversion road in Atimonan town in Quezon province Monday night, police said.

The AMV Travel and Tours Bus driven by Maximo Leoriego was negotiating a downhill stretch of the diversion road when it collided with a cargo truck in Barangay Sta. Catalina at about 6 p.m., Police Major Michael Encio, Atimonan police chief, said in a report Tuesday morning.

The driver of the ill-fated wing-van truck, Benedict Borja Belencio, 29, and truck helper Michael Gerona Sy, 28, were both pinned to death inside their vehicle.

It took several hours before rescuers from different municipalities were able to retrieve their bodies.


A bus passenger Pio Jacob Del Monte, 46, also died on the spot from serious injuries.

The bus driver, 75 bus passengers and another truck occupant sustained injuries and were brought to Doña Martha Memorial District Hospital and to the Nuestra Señora Delos Angeles General Hospital at the town center.

Some of the seriously hurt passengers were transferred to another hospital in Lucena City.

Investigators said the tourist bus overtook another vehicle moments before the accident.

The accident caused traffic gridlock along the diversion road and forced authorities to divert heavy vehicles to the Bondoc Peninsula Highway from Barangay Malicboy, Pagbilao, to the Pitogo-Gumaca junction.

The accident site is between the towns of Pagbilao and Atimonan, about 115 kilometers southeast of Manila.

The area also referred to as the zigzag diversion road had been the site of numerous other accidents in the past.

In October 2013, an eight-vehicle smashup also happened at the downhill section of the road and left 20 people dead and 54 others injured. /cbb


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