Journalist escapes near-death collision with bus

By Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News Southern Tagalog

Posted at Jun 14 2014 03:35 PM | Updated as of Jun 14 2014 11:35 PM

BATANGAS - A journalist had a narrow escape from death when an overtaking bus nearly hit her car along the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway on Friday morning, authorities said.

STAR Tollway's Traffic and Security head Carlito America said Tina Ganzon, a correspondent of the Manila Times and former ABS-CBN Batangas reporter, alerted their base through this reporter when a DLTB bus with plate number UYD 289 and body number 736 nearly sideswiped her along the Lipa-Ibaan two-way traffic road around 10 a.m.

In his report, America said Ganzon was traversing the southbound lane when the bus from the opposite direction suddenly overtook a long line of vehicles ahead of him, occupying the lane of Ganzon.

"To avoid possible collision, Ms. Ganzon tried to evade the bus by veering the wheel right towards the outer shoulder and nearly fell down the embankment canal," he said.

Subsequently, America alerted all his patrol units. They were able to apprehend the bus at the Sto. Tomas toll exit around 10:21 a.m.

However, when traffic enforcer Teodoro Mabiling confronted the bus driver and asked for his license, the latter refused to heed and also did not give his name.

Mabiling said he explained to the driver that a complaint was reported against him due to his reckless driving.

"Talagang nagmamatigas yung driver, kunin na lang daw namin ang plaka niya kaysa ibigay ang lisensya niya," America said.

America was then forced to confiscate the bus plate number. He issued a traffic violation ticket against the unidentified driver.

Ganzon, meanwhile, will likewise file a formal complaint before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Monday.

Public Attorney's Office head and president of Integrated Bar of the Philippines in Batangas Atty. Edwin Aguirre shared that he had the same experience with a reckless bus driver in Star Tollway.

"I had the same experience around 7 p.m. last night, I think it was the same bus line. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get the number, it was dark na," Aguirre said in his Facebook post

"We have to be vigilant, we have to report those reckless drivers para maiwasan ang sunod-sunod na aksidente sa ating mga tollways," Ganzon said.

The incident happened following numerous accidents involving buses in tollways the past few months.