THE supposed happy reunion of a family turned into a nightmare when four of its members died while five others were critically wounded when the vehicle they were riding in on their way to Baguio City for a vacation was hit by speeding tanker carrying chemical used in manufacturing cement the other day in Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX).
Anao, Tarlac police chief Senior Insp. Manolito Hando identified the fatalities as Marilyn Arellano, 52, Kimberly Rose Arellano, 17, Cristelle Arellano, 16, and Criselle May Arellano, 15.
Taken to the hospital for treatment were Lida Arellano, Rosalie Arellano, Maribeth Arellano, Lailani Arellano and Maricel Arellano.
Handoc said the accident occurred at around 4:30 a.m. on TPLEX, particularly in Bgy. Hernando, Anao town.
He said the victims were on board a Nissan Urvan on their way to Baguio City from Taguig City for a vacation as part of the family’s way of welcoming one of their “balikbayan” relatives when the accident happened.
Police said the van was travelling at a slow speed when they were hit by the speeding tanker driven by Remegio Cayanan Jr.
“Nu’ng tanungin ko ang driver ng tanker, sabi po niya, sinusundan n’ya itong van tapos mabilis, nagha-hazard, ibig sabihin ’yung van dahan-dahan ang takbo. Kaso itong tanker mabilis, hindi na kinaya ng preno,” Handoc explained.
Because of the strong impact, some of the fatalities died on the spot while two others were declared dead on arrival in a hospital in Carmen, Rosales, Pangasinan.
“Tumilapon po ’yung van, nakaladkad pa, kasi po nawala ’yung cover n’ya sa taas, natanggal,” he said.
The tanker driver was placed under police custody.