Burst tire, slippery road blamed for Bontoc bus crash

By Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Mar 04 2014 12:23 PM | Updated as of Mar 04 2014 08:23 PM

MANILA – The driver of the ill-fated G.V. Florida Transport Inc. bus on Tuesday blamed a burst tire and the slippery road for the bus crash in Mt. Province last February 7 that killed 15 people.

At a hearing at the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Florida bus driver Edgar Renon said he was still in control of the bus before it plunged into a ravine in Bontoc town.

Renon, however, said he was no longer able to control the bus after its right front tire burst. He added the road at the time was slippery because sand was scattered on the road.

"Pumutok na yung goma ko tapos may buhangin pa sa kabila, doon na," Renon said, adding that it was also at this point where bus conductor Jerymiah Agnapan jumped off the bus.

Renon said some of his passengers, who were screaming for their life after noticing that the bus was already out of control, told him to just crash the bus into the mountain side.

Renon, however, said he thought crashing the bus into the mountain was not a good idea.

"Kasi ayaw kong masaktan ang passengers," he said.

The bus driver claimed he was running the bus on second gear at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour right before the accident.

He said he can no longer recall how hard the bus tumbled into the ravine, claiming he lost consciousness during the crash.

Renon confirmed that he was the second driver of the bus after Alexander Lucas Longalong took charge during the first half of the trip.

Renon, 30, said he started driving five years ago and began his work as a truck driver.

He transferred to Mt. Province Cable Tours and worked there for about two years before taking a similar job at G.V. Florida Transport Inc.

Renon said he had been with Florida for five months when the accident occurred.

G.V. Florida Transport Inc. meanwhile, asked the LTFRB to give them more time to issue a position paper after receiving copies of the findings of the board.

The LTFRB will then decide whether to extend or partially lift the suspension on Florida on or before March 14. – with ANC