Passenger bus involved in deadly Atimonan mishap was ‘out-of-line’ – LTFRB

By Alexandria San Juan

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said that the tourist bus involved in the deadly road crash in Atimonan, Quezon earlier this week was “out-of-line” as it was found to have traveled outside its original route without proper authority when the accident happened.

3 died, 76 injured in a bus and truck head-on collision in Atimonan, Quezon. (VIA DANNY ESTACIO / MANILA BULLETIN)
3 died, 76 injured in a bus and truck head-on collision in Atimonan, Quezon. (VIA DANNY ESTACIO / MANILA BULLETIN)

According to LTFRB chairman Atty. Martin Delgra III, the unit of AMV Travel and Tours bus bearing plate number 050404 was registered as a public utility bus with an authorized route of Pangilinan-Tabaco via Sto. Domingo, Balangibang in Region 5.

However, in the initial verification of the board, it was found that the incident happened in the province of Quezon in Region 4 which is outside the original route of the unit.

“It is an intra-regional route in Region 5 but [the] road crash happened in Atimonan [in Quezon] which is in Region 4. No special permit was issued, hence considered out-of-line operation,” Delgra said on Wednesday.

Delgra also bared that the board has issued a preventive suspension order (PSO) also on Wednesday for seven bus units of the AMV Travel and Tours under a franchise traveling the same route.

The temporary suspension, Delgra said, is valid for a period of 30 days subject to compliance to terms and conditions of the order which will include drug testing for drivers and conductors, inspections of remaining units, training of drivers, among others.

In a report from the Atimonan Municipality Police Station, the Bicol-bound bus unit was traversing the Diversion Road in Barangay Sta. Catalina in the town of Atimonan in Quezon past 6 p.m., Monday.

Upon reaching the descending portion of the road, the bus driver, Maximo Leoriego, overtook the vehicles in front of him and suddenly collided with the ten-wheeler truck traversing on the opposite side of the road.

Due to the impact, police said the driver of the truck and the truck helper were pinned to death inside the vehicle.

Meanwhile, the passengers of the said bus including the bus driver sustained injuries and were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment, while another bus passenger died due to severe injuries, police said.

READ MORE: Truck-bus collision leaves 3 dead 76 hurt