Three students died in a vehicular accident in Bataraza, Thursday noon. (Photo courtesy of P/Col. Socrates Faltado//Bataraza MPS)

A teener and two other minors died when a motorbike they were riding on collided with a shuttle van travelling from the opposite direction of the national highway in Barangay Sumbiling, Bataraza on Thursday.

P/Maj. Raul Regala, Bataraza Municipal Police Station Chief, said the fatalities were riding a red Kawasaki Badja 125 travelling towards Barangay Rio Tuba when they figured in the fatal accident.

The police investigation showed that the driver of the motorbike was trying overtake another vehicle when he cut into the opposite lane where a van was also speeding from the opposite direction.

The van driver, identified as Joseph Bacosa Maceda, reportedly tried to avoid hitting the motorbike head-on by swerving towards the outer lane but was unable to avoid the motorbike.

One of the two passengers of the motorbike died on the spot folowing a crash while the others died upon arrival at the Rio Tuba Nickel Corporation’s hospital.

The driver of the van voluntarily surrendered to the police but was released after 12 hours of detention.

“Na-hold po natin siya dito for 12 hours pero na-release po natin siya after dahil sa batas po natin hindi siya ang may culpable violation,” he said.

Regala said they released Maceda because from the result of the investigation, the teen driver was the one who occupied the lane of the van.

“Base sa imbestigasyon natin ang culpable ay ‘yong batang driver na namatay, kasi siya ‘yong pumasok sa right of way ng shuttle van. Nag over take siya, sakto naman paparating ‘yong shuttle van, nabangga siya. Angkas niya pa ‘yong isang 12 years old at 14 years old na ang sabi magkakamag-anak raw ito,” he said.

He added that the owner of the van is willing to extend financial assistance to the parents of the minors.

Regala also added they are considering to file a case against the person who allowed the minors to drive the motorcycle and  the owner of the motorcycle.

“Pinag-aaralan natin ito kasi baka marami tayong makakasuhan ‘yong mga may-ari ng motorsiklo na patuloy na nagpapagamit sa mga minors sa mga national highways natin,” he said.