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Beauty queen's ma wants bus firms held liable for driver errors

MANILA, Philippines - The mother of car crash victim and 2009 Miss International semifinalist Melody Gersbach said yesterday she will start urging the government to ensure that bus operators will likewise be held liable for the faults of reckless drivers after her daughter’s burial in Angeles City, Pampanga this morning.

“The reason why we have these kinds of drivers is because operators hire them. But do we know what their employment requirements are? Are the drivers required to undergo drug, alcohol, and psyhcological tests? Or are they hire just because they can run a vehicle?” Melody’s mother, Marina, told The STAR.

She said she has joined the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption and sought the help of Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on her crusade.

According to Marina, the government should apply stricter rules to public utility vehicle drivers because “virtually they have under their hands the lives of the people.”

Unlike Melody’s father, Marina said she could not forgive the driver who took away what could have been her daughter’s beautiful future.

“It is unfair. The driver of the bus that killed my daughter should be sentenced to death, imprisonment is not enough,” Marina said.

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She said she still cannot believe her daughter is dead.

“Everything felt like a nightmare. I’m still hoping that all of this, indeed, is just a bad dream and that I will still wake up to find my daughter alive,” Marina said.

“It’s as if she never left us because I can still feel her presence,” the victim’s father, Wolfgang, said in a separate interview. “The only difference is, she is not here with us body and soul.”

Melody, 23, died last Saturday when her vehicle collided with by a passenger bus in Barangay Pawili in Bula, Camarines Sur. Her remains will be laid to rest in Holy Mary Memorial Park in Angeles, Pampanga at 9 a.m.

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