Consuls in NLEX accident calls for suspension of bus firm

By , on January 9, 2015

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MANILA – The loved ones of two honorary consuls are urging the government to investigate the First North Luzon Transit company after one of its buses crashed into their vehicle last weekend.

Rene and Fortune Ledesma, the honorary consuls of Bulgaria and Monaco in the country, respectively, and their family were hurt after a bus of the said company rammed their Hyundai Starex van at North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) in Apalit, Pampanga last January 4.

Their son, RJ Ledesma, claimed that his mother was injured the most with a bone-deep cut on her forehead that called for surgery.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Thursday demanded the presence of the bus company’s representatives to a hearing next week.

The Ledesma family including a nanny and their family driver were on their way to Manila from Baguio City, when they were stuck in traffic. They were on the inner southbound lane of the NLEx in Barangay San Juan 11 a.m. last Sunday.

According to the report of Apalit police, the vehicle of the Ledesmas’ was coming to a stop when the First North Luzon bus driven by 44-year-old Paul Villanueva crashed into their back side.

The collision pushed the Starex vehicle into the back of the Baliwag bus in front of it. The Starex was sandwiched between the buses and its engine burst into flames.

While the fire was put out, the passengers of the van were already hurt with Mrs. Ledesma losing her consciousness after hitting the back of the driver’s seat with her head.

As of writing, the family is still recovering, said RJ.

The bus driver will be charged with reckless imprudence resulting in physical injuries and damage to property. However, the Ledesmas said that they wanted the company to be accountable.

“What appalls me most was the lack of assistance from First North Luzon at the height of the accident,” said RJ during an interview. “My family was not offered any kind of assistance, nor any words of comfort.”

He added, “Although we are thankful everyone survived, my family could have easily died. I don’t wish the stress, trauma and agony that happened to me and my family to happen to anybody else, especially given the response shown by First North Luzon Transit Inc.”