We received the invites around two weeks in advance, so it was not a surprise when October 17th came and we all packed in the car to get to Pampanga for Madison Sophia’s first birthday.
The Virays were riding with us, so that’s five of them, plus the three lolas. Father knew we won’t fit in the van so he commissioned a relative’s car so the couples — namely Ted and Connie, Daniel, and Dylan and I — can ride in that one, since we have to pick up Connie and Dylan still.
And we picked them up. We — Antipolo crew in the Vios, the couples in the Altis, and the big group in the van — all met up at Shell in NLEX. After a quick break, we trekked the long ride to Pampanga.
The van kept stalling. The moment we left the gas station, the van never stopped stalling. Father had to stop numerous times to fix this and that, and eventually, Mother decided to move the lolas in the car. Ted drove the Altis and Connie and I squeezed in front, and the kids rode the Vios.
The van was left behind. Passengers were Dylan, Daniel, Father, Mother, Tita Carol, Tito Sonny, Rex and Justin.
I kept bugging them to hurry, because the party was starting and it was perfect. Then Dylan texted.
5:23 PM October 17, 2010
Everything went haywire from that point forward. I grabbed Kuya Jun (Ate Monet’s brother), Ted and Tito Rod to drive out near the San Fernando exit, north bound, where they were hit by a wheeler truck.
There was no other way. We had to take the Manila exit, then exit San Simon, then go back to NLEX north just to find them on the other side of the road.
They were at the shoulder, and the only person left by the time I was there was Dylan. He was with Tito Rod, who I have no idea how he got there faster than we did, and he was getting pretty upset with the driver.
Dylan wanted to stay with him and accompany him to the precinct, mainly because Dylan felt his blood pressure is getting too high.
I failed to get a picture of the van, but here’s what happened:
RED: The front bumper was gone. Headlights were shoved in.
YELLOW: No door can be opened. The sliding door was forced just for them to squeeze out. Dylan was the first to get out of the van. He got out from the window. The driver’s door squeezed Father’s leg, straining the muscle.
GREEN: All windows were shattered. Dylan said, they were shattered upon impact, which would explain why he spat shards of glass and why the rest were bathing in shrapnel.
BLUE: The back was gone. It was pushed so far in, the back row was almost touching the middle row seats. That was where Tita Carol was seated.
Tito Rod was quick to file a case against the driver, the assistant and the operator. They showed no remorse.
Dylan almost got out unscathed. Rex said Daniel hugged him when he saw Dylan turning to look at the truck who was about to hit them. Daniel said if he didn’t do that, the impact would have made his hips snap and dislocate. Which would might as well be equivalent to months of pain. Dylan had whiplash and x-rays were normal.
Daniel was topless because he was drying off sweat. But the glass got too embedded in his skin. He had the worst scratches.
Rex, almost scott free too. Grazed arms.
Mother had fractured skull. Was confined for a day to reduce the hematoma. All clear now.
Father has strained muscles. To date, he’s still doing pain management.
Justin needed 3 stitches from the back of the head, and lacerations on top of the head. Stitches are out now and we’re still convincing him to shave his hair.
Tito Sony had a subdural hematoma. Hand swollen like a pumpkin. Released now but the hand still requires pain management.
Tita Carol had her 7th and 8th rib broken, and the doctor said it will take two months to fully heal.
So there. Approximately 80,000 in medical fees (all eight of them), 225,000 in damages in private property, 45,000 for salaries and wages lost due to the injuries, and psychological damages yet to be accounted for.
The hearing is set for November 2.