Three people were killed while 10 others were injured when the van they were riding overturned along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) in Balagtas, Bulacan, Saturday morning, police said.

Chief Insp. Alfonso Cruz, Balagtas Police chief, identified the fatalities as Allen Joseph de Castro, 19; Victorina Santos, 57; and Pastora Dulpo, 66, all residents of Brgy. Sto. Rosario, Paombong.

Those injured, who are also residents of Paombong, were are being treated in different hospitals but driver Joel Tobias, 36, has been taken into custody by the police.

The incident occurred near a Shell gasoline station 2:35 a.m. but was only reported to police around 7 a.m. Cruz said in a phone interview.

Tobias was driving the Toyota Grandia (RFH-316) and was about to take the Tabang Exit on the way to Paombong, when one of the van’s rear wheels exploded, causing the driver to loose control of the steering wheel, according to the police official.

It was learned that Tobias and his group had just come from a “despedida” of a relative in Meycauayan City who is about to leave for Japan.

“Ayon dun sa driver, dahil nasa custody namin siya, parang naghappy-happy sila dahil ‘yung pinsan niya eh aalis patungong Japan,” Cruz said. (John Roson)

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