Driver was speeding, say wounded passengers; case booked
Ten persons including two bus drivers were injured when an MTC bus rammed another on Tondiarpet High Road on Thursday.
The eight commuters and the drivers sustained minor injuries and were rushed to Stanley Hospital.
Bus route nos. 159E, connecting Ennore and Chennai mofussil bus terminus, and 44C, connecting Broadway and IOC bus stop, were the vehicles involved in the accident in Old Washermenpet area.
On Thursday, around 8.40 a.m., M. Palani (44) was driving 44C towards IOC from Koyambedu bus terminus while Lawrence Pradeep More (32) was steering 159E towards Koyambedu.
A little later, when 44C was near Pandian Theatre bus stop, driver Palani saw 159E speeding towards him.
“The bus seemed out of control. To avoid a head-on collision, I swerved to the left and hit 159E on the driver’s side. Had I not turned, it would have been a major disaster,” Palani said.
Though he sustained injuries on his thighs and knees as the steering wheel rammed into him, none of the passengers in his bus were injured.
The commuters of 159 E alleged the driver, Lawrence, was speeding. “I was sitting behind the driver’s seat. He was driving the bus like a lorry,” said M. Raji, a welder who was headed towards Kilpauk Garden from Ernavoor. He sustained injuries on his forehead.
S. Hari Narayan, a class XI student residing at Ernavoor, was headed to his school in Sowcarpet. He too sustained head injuries.
S. Alexander (21), a resident of Tiruvottiyur, had cuts on his head and lips. He is employed in a car company at Arumbakkam and was headed to work on 159 E when the accident happened.
Bus driver Lawrence, too, sustained injuries on his knees and was treated at the hospital. “He could be at fault. But we heard a share-autorickshaw crossed in front of the bus and in order to avoid ramming the vehicle, he swerved to the right. Due to this, the accident happened,” an MTC official said.
According to the police, none of the passengers mentioned any share-autorickshaw. “We have interrogated all the passengers. A case under section 337 of the IPC (causing hurt by an act endangering the life or personal safety of others) and section 183 of the Motor Vehicles Act (driving at excessive speed) has been booked,” a police officer at Tondiarpet traffic investigation office said.