Family and friends are seeking justice for a 31-year-old woman who lost an eye after she was hit by a rampaging fire truck in Pateros on Mother’s Day, May 9.
Annie Tiar, 31, was walking with her friend Salome Perez on the sidewalk on M. Almeda Street in Brgy. Magtanggol when a wayward fire truck of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)-Pateros hit her.
CCTV footage from Brgy. Magtanggol showed the fire truck barreling down the street before hitting Tiar at 8:46 p.m.
Before this, the fire truck hit a car at 8:44 p.m. The car, owned by Leangelo Gerhard Siloterio, was temporarily parked on the same street. In both incidents, the fire truck did not immediately stop.
The Taguig City Police Station identified the driver of the fire truck as FO2 Ramon Lactao II, 36, who is assigned at the Pateros Fire Station.
Personnel from the Pateros Police Sto. Rosario Sub-station 3 responded to the incident and arrested Lactao who is now detained at the police station in Brgy. Sta. Ana.
During his arrest, police said, Lactao chose to remain silent and was brought to the police station. He is facing charges of reckless imprudence resulting in physical injury and damage to property
Douglas Lazarra, Tiar’s common-law husband, told the Manila Bulletin that because of the accident, her right eye was removed during an operation on May 11 at the Quirino Memorial Medical Center. She is now in stable condition. He said Tiar is still unable to speak but he sent her a cell phone so they can chat.
“Sana mabigyan ng hustisya ung nangyari sa asawa ko (I hope justice will be served to my wife),” said Lazarra. He said Tiar was just accompanying Perez when the incident happened.
Lazarra and Tiar have been living together and have a two-year-old son. He said they are planning to get married.
Netizens were enraged after watching the video of the fire truck barreling down the street, saying the driver should be punished.
“Sobrang bilis e (It was too fast),” Lazarra said of the fire truck after watching the CCTV footage of the incident.
A witness to the incident, Michaella Lim, told the Manila Bulletin that the fire truck used a signal light but not a siren to warn people. She and her companion were riding a motorcycle when the incident happened. They stopped to help Tiar.
“Itinigil lang yung fire truck sa baba ng tulay ng San Joaquin at saka lang nila binalikan yung mga biktima (The fire truck stopped at the San Joaquin bridge before they went to check on the victims),” she said.
Pateros Mayor Miguel Ponce III has ordered a speedy and fair investigation of the incident during a meeting with municipal fire marshall Joel Karl Blando and Philippine National Police Maj. Arman Gubat on Tuesday.
According to Lazarra, the Pateros Fire Station promised to shoulder all the hospital expenses of Tiar.
“Nagsabi naman sila na sila ang gagastos sa lahat ng gastos dito sa ospital (They said they will pay for all the hospital expenses),” he said.
Those who want to help Tiar may send donations to Douglas Lazarra’s GCASH account number 09454057632.