Filmmaker shares driver of vehicle involved in Skyway crash ‘traumatized’ to drive

March 15, 2024 - 12:17 PM
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Skyway Stage 3
Vehicles passing through the Skyway Stage 3. (The STAR/Boy Santos/File Photo)

Filmmaker-photographer Arjanmar Rebeta shared that the driver of the vehicle that a motorcycle slammed into at the Skyway Stage 3 no longer wants to drive due to trauma.

On March 10, a speeding counterflowing rider of Suzuki Raider entered the Skyway Stage 3 ramp along the A. Bonifacio segment in Quezon City and crashed into a Toyota Innova that had the right of way.

The driver of the four-wheeled vehicle attempted to change lanes to avoid a collision, but the motorcycle was too fast.

Skyway management said that the motorcycle was moving at 80 kilometers per hour. The maximum speed along Skyway Stage 3 is only 60 kilometers per hour.

Its rider was an intoxicated 22-year-old male who died 12 hours later.

He was not wearing a helmet. His motor, a sub-400cc motorcycle, was also not allowed on the expressway.

Moreover, the rider did not carry a driver’s license with him and was wearing slippers instead of closed footwear, which was part of proper riding gear.

The collision also ruined the front bumper of the Innova, which was driven by a 54-year-old man from San Mateo, Rizal.

Reports said that a security officer at the Skyway tried to stop the motorcycle, but the rider ignored him and drove off.

Police said that the Innova driver was detained due to criminal charges involving reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and damage to property.

He was freed at 7 p.m. on Tuesday upon the orders of the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office, which dismissed the case after the rider’s sibling executed an affidavit of desistance.

An affidavit of desistance is a statement under oath by the complainant saying they are no longer interested in pursuing a complaint or a criminal case against another person.

Police Capt. Jun Cornelio Estrellan, head of the PNP-Highway Patrol Group South Luzon Expressway Sub Office, explained that they filed criminal charges against the driver as part of the process, especially in cases that involve death.

“May proseso po tayong sinusunod [dahil] may patay po sa insidente. Automatic po ‘yun, kung sino po ‘yung nakapatay ng tao, eventually po, ‘yun po ‘yung mafa-filan ng kaso. Ipro-proseso naman po ‘yun tapos eventually, ifa-file sa Prosecutor’s Office kung saan nangyari ‘yung pangyayari,” he said in an interview.

Estrellan also said the affidavit of desistance helped a lot in the Prosecutor’s Office’s decision that paved the way for the driver’s release.

The police said the rider would also face several charges if he survived the crash.

Meanwhile, Rebeta, who knows the spouse of the Innova driver, said that the incident traumatized the driver.

“Kilala namin ang asawa ng nagma-maneho ng kotse na sinalubong at nabangga ng motor na pumasok sa Skyway. Nakulong ang asawa. Kagabi lang daw pinalaya. Traumatic na ‘yung aksidente, traumatic pa ‘yung makulong ka. Ayaw na nga daw mag-drive,” he wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.

“Kakaiba talaga ang batas sa Pilipinas tungkol sa tulad ng ganitong aksidente. Kahit wala kang kasalanan, kulong ka,” Rebeta added.

“Imagine mo na nananahimik at sumusunod ka sa tamang linya, may bubunggo na lang sa’yo dahil sa maling linya ang pinuntahan nila. Bukod pa dun, nasira pa ang sasakyan mo at ‘di mo na masingil ang namatay sa aksidente. Sana, mabago ang ganitong batas,” the creative professional said.

Rebeta’s post has amassed 105,000 likes and sad reactions, 62,000 shares and 9,700 comments so far.

Lawyer Wiv Bracero of the Ponferrada Ty Law Offices cited some laws and jurisprudence which could be the basis for holding a driver liable in traffic accidents.

These include Article 1756 from the Civil Code of the Philippines, which states the following:

“In case of death of or injuries to passengers, common carriers are presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless they prove that they observed extraordinary diligence as prescribed in articles 1733 and 1755.”

Bracero said that unless there are “laws providing for presumptions with regard to the negligence of the victims and rationalizes and makes the liability of drivers fair under the circumstances, all those seemingly innocent drivers would still spend some nights in police custody.”

Rep. JC Abalos (4Ps party-list) has filed House Bill 10123 which would promote responsible driving and ensure that extracting accountability would be fair and correct.

The solon said he filed the bill because there have been similar cases where motorists, even if they have followed traffic rules and regulations, are penalized because the opposing side had sustained more injuries or loss of life.