Bontoc, Mt. Province – Bontoc town in Mt. Province commemorated on Tuesday, Feb. 07 the 9th death anniversary of the 14 individuals, including the well-known comedian Arvin “Tado” Jimenez and two foreigners, who were killed in a tragic bus accident in 2014.
“As we remember and pray for the souls of those who died, we also pray for the continued healing of the other victims and their families,” posted Bontoc municipality in its official Facebook page.
“We also remember and thank all those people and communities who helped selflessly on that fateful day. May God bless you all,” added the LGU.
The victims who came from Manila boarded a bus owned by the GV Florida Transport Inc. Due to “mechanical failure and human error,” the vehicle fell off a 500-meter deep ravine, crashing into a rice field at Sitio Paggang in Talubin village, Bontoc at 7:20 a.m of Feb. 07, 2014.
One of the survivors described the accident as “surreal.”
“I was awakened when the bus crashed. I remember feeling the rush of air as the bus plunged down, then I was rolling around,” one of the passenger said then.
While 32 people survived, 14 died in the crash with some bodies mangled or torn.
Marcial Baranda Jr., a friend of Jimenez was also killed. The fatalities, other than them, were the Canadian Alex Loring; Dutch woman, Anne Martina Adriana Van de Ven; creative director of Solar News Network, Giovanni “Bam” Morillo; musician Andrew David Sicam; Natividad F. Ngawa; Gerald D. Baja; Ana Cruz; Leah Reyes; Emily Gentalian; Katrina Gozos; Johnathan R. Patulot; and Rosalina Reyes.
Criminal charges were filed against the owners of Florida while the driver of the ill-fated bus was detained for reckless driving but was released after posting P50,000 bail set by the Bontoc Municipal Trial Court.
The GV Florida was suspended by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board after 28 of its buses failed inspection tests. The suspension, however, was lifted when the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of GV Florida's petition.
Just a month after, another GV Florida bus was involved in an accident.
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