• Skyway blames bus condition, driver for tragic accident

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    THE Skyway O&M Corp. on Tuesday maintained that the design of the elevated thoroughfare, where a Don Mariano Transit bus fell off, is not defective as it blamed the driver for the accident.

    Louie Maralit, head of Skyway’s traffic management security department said that the design followed international standards and was approved by the government through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

    “As far as the design is concerned, it complied international standards and was done by International engineers duly approved by DPWH,” Maralit told The Manila Times in an interview.

    He likewise brushed aside reports that there were numerous accidents at the Skyway the latest of which happened on Monday when a passenger bus operated by Don Mariano Transit Corp. plunged off the thoroughfare killing at least 18 people.

    At the same time, Maralit blamed the accident to the condition of the ill-fated bus and to its driver, Carmelo Calatcat saying that he could possibly over the speeding limit.

    Based on the CCTV footage, Maralit said the bus’ wheels were already bald an indication of its poor maintenance.

    “Let us also consider the condition of the bus because its tired were already bald and of course, the driver, who might be over fatigued when the accident happened,” he added.

    The maximum speed limit on the Skyway for buses is 80 kilometers per hour (kph). For cars and jeeps, it is 100 kph, while for all other vehicles, it is 60 kph.

    “He [driver]knew that the road is slippery because of the rain and yet he was still driving so fast, he possibly drove at the speed of 120 kph,” Maralit added.

    He said the CCTV footage revealed the bus skidded on the wet road before it fell off the Skyway and crushed a closed van.

    At the same time, Maralit said they are ready to face any probe by the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB).

    TRB Director Edmund Reyes said they will review the design, history and maintenance record of the South Metro Manila Skyway following the accident.

     RITCHIE A. HORARIO

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