MANILA (Mabuhay) – Carmelo Calatcat, the driver of the speeding Don Mariano bus that fell off the Skyway on December 16 onto a van on the West Service Road below, has died, Radyo ng Bayan said.
Calatcat, 39, left behind three orphaned children in Dinagat Island. He had been treated at the ICU of the Paranaque Doctors Hospital for nine days for severe injuries sustained when the bus he was driving crashed through the Skyway railing at 5 a.m. of December 16 and fell onto a container van below on SLEx between the Bicutan and Sucat exits.
Killed instantly were 17 passengers and the bus conductor. Even as he was being treated at the ICU, the Paranaque police filed charges with the city prosecutor of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and multiple serious physical injuries.
The incident prompted the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to slap a 30-day suspension on the entire Don Mariano fleet of 78 buses.
Calatcat was found driving at least 120 kilometers per hour on wornout tires above Skyway limits of 80 kph for buses.
The incident left Calatcat, along with two dozen others, seriously injured.
Regulators are checking information that Calatcat had been on duty 19 hours before the accident, reviving calls to ditch the public utility boundary system and switch to fixed wage mode for drivers.
The bus crash highlighted the unsafe conditions of public transport brought by long work hours by public transport drivers. (MNS)