2 dead, 3 hurt in Quezon’s ‘killer highway’ crash


LUCENA CITY – Two motorists died while three others were hurt after three vehicles crashed along the diversion road, which motorists call “killer highway”, in Atimonan, Quezon early Thursday.

Atimonan police head Chief Insp. Michael Encio said a truck driven by Manjo Bayanay lost its brakes while negotiating a descending section of the diversion road in Barangay (village) Santa Catalina around 2 a.m. The wayward truck consequently rammed into a car driven by Tirso Magistrado that was running ahead and an aluminum van driven by Austine Chris de Guia.

The truck eventually slammed into a narra tree on the right shoulder of the road while the aluminum van crashed into an electric post. Bayanay and two of his passengers, Arnolfo Macaranas and John Erick Malacad, were pinned inside their vehicle.

Macaranas and Malacad, died on the spot from fatal head and body injuries, while Bayanay sustained a fractured right leg and was taken to Doña Martha Memorial District Hospital in the town center.

De Guia and his passenger Silver Ligutan, also sustained injuries and were also brought to the same hospital. The car driver was unharmed.

Case investigator Police Officer 3 Oliver Andrey described the dangerous road section as a “long downhill stretch”.

“But there was a prominent advisory sign on the side of the road before the descend for the drivers to check their brakes first,” Andrey said in a phone interview.

On July 8, two motorists also died and 13 others were hurt in a three-vehicle smash-up in the same area when another vehicle lost its brakes.

Last March, two people were killed and 15 others were hurt when a passenger bus fell off a cliff on the same part of the diversion road.

In 2013, an eight-vehicle collision on the same downhill stretch left 20 people dead and 54 others injured.           /kga

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