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Bus driver drunk – 14 passengers nearly die on the way to Manila

Fourteen passengers of a Manila-bound passenger bus cheated death after their drunken driver crashed the giant six-wheeler into the mountain slope in Barangay Poypoy, here, late Sunday afternoon, police said Monday.

Chief Superintendent Villamor Bumanglag, Police Regional Office (PRO) director for Cordillera, ordered the full force of the law applied on bus driver Mahemias Dela Rosa Paulino, 42, married and a native of Kapangan, Benguet.

Probers said Paulino was reeking of liquor when questioned over the accident.

He is now locked up at the Tuba Municipal Jail, awaiting charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple injuries, said Bumanglag.

Initial police investigation showed the bus was traversing Marcos Highway, here, en route to Metro Manila when the driver lost control of the vehicle while engaging a sharp curve and went in the direction of a cliff.

A last-minute maneuver prevented the bus from falling into the ravine but it crashed on the mountain slope, resulting in the injury of 14 passengers.

The victims were rescued by local residents and taken to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) for medical treatment.

One of them remained in the hospital yesterday due to serious injuries.

Bumanglag issued an appeal to all motorists traveling along the region’s mountainside roads never to drink before sitting behind the wheel.

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