1 dead, 3 hurt in Laguna road crash amid Taal Volcano ashfall

BATANGAS CITY, Philippines – A truck driver died and 3 others were hurt in a road crash in Calamba, Laguna, early Monday morning, January 13, after they encountered a mishap while driving amid ashfall from Taal Volcano.

Calamba police said in a report that the driver identified as Gilbert Dawal Briones drove an Isuzu truck with 3 passengers at around 1 am on Monday, along the National Road in Barangay Paciano Rizal in Calamba City. They had come from Cabuyao, Laguna, and were headed to Manila.

Police said there was "zero visibility" at the time because of the ashfall.

“Upon reaching the place of incident said vehicle approached a sharp curve when it went out of control causing it to turn upside down and directly hit a concrete post,” the report said.  (READ: What to do before, during, and after a volcano eruption)

Authorities said the windshield of the vehicle was covered in ash. 

Police were informed about the incident at 3:25 am, or two hours after the incident.

Cops said Briones succumbed to severe injuries, while the passengers, including two truck helpers, were hurt. The passengers were identified as Jovin Dayson Daen, 22; Charity Flores, 33; and Reymar Dayson Daen, 34

Taal Volcano in Batangas has been spewing ash since Sunday, January 12, leading to ashfall in nearby provinces. Authorities have advised motorists  to take caution when driving during ashfall as it blocks vision and could not be removed by just using vehicles' built-in wipers. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.