CATBALOGAN CITY — A six-wheeler truck carrying construction materials en route to Samar lost its brake and fell off on the country’s longest San Juanico Bridge which resulted to the death of its driver Friday afternoon.
Inspector Romuel Nacar of the Police Regional Office 8 said the driver Dexter Omega failed to escape death when he and the truck he was driving fell off the bridge due to mechanical failure.
“Kasama sya sa nahulog kasi di na sya nakatalon pa,” said Nacar.
Policemen and rescuers from the Tacloban City Rescue Unit, Tacloban Chamber Emergency Medical Services, Tacloban Delta Volunteers and the City Disaster risk Reduction Management Council rushed to the area to save the victim but to no avail.
“The driver, when pulled out from the truck, was already dead,” the police official added.
The truck helper, however, identified as Bitoy Areso escaped unhurt when he managed to jump off the truck before it plunged into the water.
He was brought to the Tacloban City Police Office for his statement.
Sketchy reports said the cargo truck with plate number GSG 738 was crossing the bridge from Tacloban City about 4:30 p.m. when it reportedly lost its brakes.
The driver lost control of the vehicle and subsequently rammed more than ten railings of the 2.16 km-bridge before it plunged into the waters on the Leyte side, police said.
Probers said the truck, owned by Dominador Cabanganan Jr, owner of the Cell.Com Company based in Catbalogan City; fell off about 130 feet in the bridge that connects the islands of Leyte and Samar.
The cargo truck was loaded with construction materials such as paints and plywoods was still in the water as of Saturday morning.
In 2003, a passenger van also fell off in the bridge killing the driver and one of the passenger’s 12-seater van which was traveling from Borongan, Eastern Samar to Tacloban City.
In 1999, a military truck also fell off along the same stretch, killing two soldiers.
The bridge, said to be the “gift of love” by then President Ferdinand Marcos to his First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, finished its construction in 1973. It is the longest bridge in the country that connects Luzon and Mindanao.