Mahendragarh mishap could have been averted had school sent another driver: Witness : The Tribune India

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Mahendragarh mishap could have been averted had school sent another driver: Witness

Mahendragarh mishap could have been averted had school sent another driver: Witness

District officials check school buses in Mahendragarh on Friday. Tribune Photo

Tribune News Service

Ravinder Saini

Mahendragarh, April 12

The accident that claimed the lives of six schoolchildren here yesterday could have been averted had the GL Public School authorities sent another bus driver, acting on a phone call by Arun Kumar (24) from Kheri Talwana village.

Driver was drunk

The driver was drunk and driving recklessly. I took away the key, but was forced to return it by some villagers. Arun Kumar, a motorcyclist

5-day remand for principal, driver

The police produced school principal Dipti, secretary Hoshiar Singh and bus driver Dharmendra of Sehlang village before a Mahendragarh court, which awarded them five-day police remand.

Arun had spotted him driving recklessly half-an-hour before the accident. He even took away the key of the bus, but destiny had other plans. “Around 8 am, I was returning home on a motorbike after working in fields on the outskirts of the village. I was behind the bus and noticed that it was about to hit a tempo coming from the opposite side. The tempo driver stopped the vehicle and argued with the driver. In the meantime, I overtook the bus,” said Arun.

“After some time, the bus came close to me, moving in a zig-zag manner and was about to hit me. Angry, I overtook it and forced the driver to stop. I boarded the bus and questioned him. He was drunk and incoherent. Four men sitting on nearby seats were also under the influence of liquor,” he said.

Many children were in the bus and sensing the gravity of the situation, he took the key and called on the number written on the bus, but it was switched off. He then googled another number of the school and dialled. This time, a male received the call.

“I told him that the driver was drunk and to send another driver. The person on the line said he would call back, but no call came. In the meantime, several villagers arrived at the spot and forced me to hand over the key, saying that the children were getting late,” he said.

The bus met with an accident 10 km away from there. Since no man sustained injuries, the other drunk men might have disembarked before the accident.

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