Scuffle causes accident

The accident scene.

MBOMBELA – Twenty-five occupants of a Buscor bus were injured yesterday morning when one of the passengers allegedly grabbed the steering wheel, causing the driver to lose control. The bus veered off the road before crashing into a tree.

According to Capt Dawie Pretorius, spokesman for the local police, the bus was en route to the city from Barberton when a squabble took place between the driver and a female passenger.

“The female passenger went to fight with the driver while she was driving and it hampered the driver’s control of the bus,” he said.

The driver was not injured during the commotion and the suspect is in custody. She will appear in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

The police are also investigating a charge of reckless and negligent driving and common assault against the female suspect.

Ms Gerty Greyling of Life Med ambulance services briefly spoke to passengers who were in the bus during the incident. She said the suspect wanted to alight from the bus before the bus stop near the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Mbombela campus. When the driver refused to stop, the passenger pulled the steering wheel, causing the driver to lose control.

The injured were rushed to Rob Ferreira Hospital and Mediclinic Nelspruit. At least one of them suffered a broken leg. Most of them walked to the health facilities unaided.

Buscor operations manager, Mr Patrick Malabela, said the company did not condone such behaviour from passengers. “We will make sure that we follow the case and let the law take its course. We won’t allow one individual to endanger the lives of many others,” he said.

Malabela added that Buscor prided itself on the safety of its passengers and would work hard to prevent similar incidents.

Trevor Hlungwani

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