Bb Pilipinas Titlist Gersbach, 2 Others Die in Road Mishap

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—(UPDATE 2) Binibining Pilipinas International 2009 Melody Gersbach, 24, died on the spot late Saturday morning when the car she was riding in collided head-on with a passenger bus, an Army official said.


The two other persons confirmed dead were identified as Dodong Ramos, the driver, and Alden Orense, couturier of the beauty titlist.

Melody Gerbach
Two other persons—the driver and couturier of the beauty titlist—also died in the accident, which occurred at 11:45 a.m., said Major Harold Cabunoc, public information officer of the 9th Infantry Division based in Pili, Camarines Sur, who was quoting from initial police reports.

"The accident occurred in Barangay Pawili in Bula, Camarines Sur," said Cabunoc in a text message.

Gersbach and her companions were on board a Toyota Innova en route to Naga City when it collided with a Guevarra Bus Line driven by Wilson Pontillas.

The bus driver voluntarily surrendered to police, said Cabunoc.

Radio anchor Pio Fernandez of DZGB in Legazpi City confirmed the report at around 3 p.m. in an interview with Peachy Lim, a staff member of a restaurant owned by Gersbach's family in Legazpi City.

A fourth victim identified as Ronald Lita survived the accident and was rushed to the Bicol Medical Center for treatment.

Police said the bus tried to avoid a tricycle when it collided with the Toyota Innova.

A resident of Barangay Culliat in Daraga town in Albay, Gersbach, who was also Ms Bicolandia 2009, left the house at around 9 a.m. to attend a pre-pageant event in connection with the coming celebration of the Pe├▒afrancia Festival in Naga City next month.

Ricky Gonzales, brother of Ramoning, the owner of the Innova van, said the vehicle was a total wreck.

By Rey M. Nasol
Inquirer Southern Luzon
First Posted 15:36:00 08/21/2010