Two people was killed on the spot while 16 others were injured when a 10-wheeler truck crashed into the sidewalk in A. Bonifacio Avenue in Barangka, Marikina City Wednesday morning.
According to published news reports, the truck driver lost control of its brakes while descending from the Katipunan-Aurora Avenue area en route to inner Marikina City. Apart from ramming through seven vehicles, it also damaged two electric posts and the facade of a laundry shop.
In an interview with Rappler, Mayor Del De Guzman emphasized that Fernando Gimera, the truck driver, will most likely face charges in connection to the accident because trucks aren’t allowed along Bonifacio Avenue in the first place. The truck is operated by J Movers Intertransport Company.
One of the two fatalities is Edison John Reyes, a 2nd year computer engineering student from the Technological Institute of the Philippines – Quezon City. The school, where I taught for two years, is just one ride away from where the tragedy happened. His untimely death happened just two days before his 18th birthday.
PERSONAL: Though he was never my student, he is a member of TIP QC News Today, a Facebook group that I started last year. There, some students posted videos and pictures taken from the scene of the fatal accident.
According to some students, Edison attended his early morning solid mensuration class and had apparently decided to go home during his vacant period. Please note that he is not wearing school uniform because Wednesday is wash day in TIP QC.
I asked those who knew Edison about their memories of him and here’s what his friends and classmates said:
Meg Fernandez – “Simple. Palakaibigan. Masaya kasama. Matalino at mabait.”
Mark Archie Cabatic – “Mabuting kaibigan, di sya ma-pride. Isa sa mga di ko makakalimutang kaklase, schoolmate at kaibigan.”
Royce Chua – “Matalino po yan si Edison at mabuti ring kaibigan. Makulit siya at mahilig mag-selfie.”
Ara Pineda – “1st sem pa lang madalas na siyang asarin at tawagin sa ibat-ibang nickname pero kahit ganun hindi siya napipikon. Bagkus, sumasakay lang siya sa trip at nakikitawa. Kapag kailangan mo ng tulong either sa school works o (personal) advice, maaasahan siya.”
Emeterio Ramos III – “Edison was one of my tutees before. He was very active and very friendly. He was a good student and was one of the best tutees I had. He’s always there for his friends and have an initiative to lead his class.”
(Trivia: One of the nicknames given to him is “Founder” because as the de-facto class president, he is always the one tasked to create Facebook groups for their classes.)
Commentary: Deaths caused by road accidents are nothing new for Filipinos. In fact, one of the earliest articles published here on The Filipino Scribe is a tribute to the late journalist and professor Lourdes “Chit” Estrella-Simbulan, who died when a bus rammed into the cab she is riding on.
It’s already a cliche to say that life’s too short and so unpredictable that we have to make sure we make the most out of it every single day. Nevertheless, it is still heartbreaking to hear stories of wasted lives because of avoidable accidents.
Edison could have chosen to spend his vacant time playing computer games in the various Internet shops around TIP QC, but he instead opted to go home to be with his family. He could have been a very successful computer engineer in the future, but because of someone’s recklessness, wala na ang lahat.
Now, all eyes should be on J Movers Intertransport and their driver Fernando Gimera. Here are some issues that needs to be clarified:
- If trucks are not allowed to use the Katipunan-A.Bonifacio flyover, why is the driver there?
- Is he under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances?
- How many hours has he been on duty? Consider this: According to a job vacancy announcement made by J Movers, drivers of 10-wheeler trucks earn P500 per trip. Hence, the more trips he makes, the more he earns.
- When was the last time that the truck involved in the accident underwent a maintenance check-up? And, what were the findings?
- Will the truck company give their share in shouldering the burial expenses for the fatalities and the hospitalization bills of those injured?
While those questions begs to be answered, let me take this opportunity to extend my condolences to Edison’s family, friends, and other loved ones. May they find the strength to survive and move forward from this unspeakable tragedy.