Passengers praise him for displaying responsibility

Sampath was thinking about other people’s lives while his own was ebbing away. On Wednesday morning, this 45-year-old driver suffered a massive cardiac arrest and died at the wheel of a private bus, but not before steering his passengers to safety, unmindful of the pain.

The incident happened on Grand Southern Trunk Road, at St. Thomas Mount, while he was ferrying 14 women passengers, who work as cabin crew with a private airliner.

Sampath, a Purasawakkam resident, was employed with Parveen Travels, which has been engaged by the airliner to pick up and drop its crew from the airport to the hotel, where they took rest between flights.

Sampath suffered an attack at around 10.30 a.m., when he was headed towards a city hotel along with the fourteen cabin crew members. According to eyewitnesses, the bus was crossing the Military Hospital when he developed chest pain and partially lost control of the bus. With one hand on his chest, he steered the bus with the other and brought it to a halt near the Asarkhana bus stop. Moments later, he collapsed on the steering wheel, according to St. Thomas Mount policemen.

While he was struggling for his life, a crew member called the police control room and an ambulance arrived at the spot shortly and rushed him to a private hospital in Guindy, where he died.

The death was caused by a massive cardiac arrest, the police said. Quoting the passengers in the bus, the policemen said Sampath displayed an enormous sense of responsibility and bravery. With great difficulty, he drove the bus and parked it at a spot where no harm could befall either the passengers or other road users.

“We noticed the bus parked at an unusual spot. Despite it being the rush hour, there was no disruption of traffic. Policemen later told us about the driver’s act, said S.Saami, an auto driver at Jothi Theater near Asarkhana.