6 dead, including 3 kids, in Davao del Sur road crash

Allan Nawal
(3rd UPDATE) A passenger bus slams into a tricycle in Digos City, killing the trike driver, his wife, 3 children, and father-in-law

DEADLY ROAD MISHAP. The Mindanao Star bus that figured in a road mishap that killed all passengers of a tricycle in Digos City on November 14, 2018. Photo by Bien Abanos

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Six people, including 3 children, were killed when a passenger bus slammed into a tricycle in Digos City, Davao del Sur, on Wednesday morning, November 14.

The incident happened at the junction of the Cotabato-Davao and General Santos-Davao highways in Digos City around 6:20 am on Wednesday.

In a report, Digos City police chief Superintendent Deozar Almasa said the crash victims were all passengers of the tricycle, including the driver, Joel Castro Jr. Castro was ferrying his wife, 3 children, and father-in-law when the mishap happened.

He identified the other victims as Castro’s wife Honey Grace, 27, and their children Cyri, 7; Joana Clair, 4; and Pedo, 2. Also killed was Honey Grace’s father, Floro Okbenaria, 50.

Police Officer 3 Deo Karol Aznar, the traffic investigator of the Digos City Police Office, said the tricycle was on the way to nearby Sta Cruz town when it was hit by a Mindanao Star bus, driven by Fermin Macalos.

In his report to Almasa, Aznar said the tricycle driver and 4 of his passengers, including the 3 children, died on the spot. 

“A sixth victim was brought to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival,” he added.

DIGOS CITY CRASH. The tricycle of the Castro family that collided with a Mindanao Star bus in Digos City on November 14, 2018. Photo by Bien Abanos

Aznar said based on the investigation, the bus came from Davao City and was entering the satellite terminal in Digos City via the Davao-General Santos highway when it slammed into the tricycle.

No one on the bus was harmed, he added.

Aznar said the bus driver was detained at the Digos city police holding cell, and woud be charged with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.

The remains of the Castro family and Okbenaria were brought to the Good Life Funeral Homes in Barangay San Jose in Digos.

The incident triggered renewed calls among local radio commentators and Digos residents for officials to implement the tricycle ban on highways, which was ordered by the Department of the Interior and Local Government last month.

In October, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año called on local executives in the country to ban tricycles from national highways. He said then that allowing tricycles on highways did not only risk the safety of their passengers, but those on  four-wheeled vehicles as well.

There were past road mishaps involving tricycles and 4-wheeled vehicles on national highways. Most of them took place on junctions, such as the August 2016 incident in Barangay Dawis in Digos, were several people were injured. – Rappler.com