A heart-rending tale

A heart-rending tale

A Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus driver, 55-year-old Rasaak was at the wheel of a Mangalore-bound bus. The bus left the Majestic station around 10 pm on Sunday.

After dinner, Rasaak’s colleague, conductor Narayan, settled into his seat and so had 50-odd passengers. When the bus reached Jalahalli Cross, Rasaak stopped the vehicle near the KSRTC counter to pick up a few more passengers.

With full capacity, the bus had moved a distance when Rasaak suddenly stopped the bus, complaining of chest pain. He immediately alerted Narayan and pulled the bus over along a curb. With local help, Rasaak was shifted to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead. The cause of his death was a massive cardiac arrest.

When the news of Rasaak’s death reached the passengers, who had to wait a few hours before another driver could take them to their destination — Mangalore — they appreciated the driver’s forethought not to have driven the bus in the condition that he was in.

Contrasting version

A KSRTC official said: “The bus was supposed to have passed grilling ghat sections and, if by any chance, the driver has suffered the heart attack at that time, the bus would have plunged more than 50 feet. But for Rasaak’s foresight, an tragic accident was averted before the bus hit the highway”.

But there was a contrasting version to the developments that took place was the bus left Majestic station.  An eyewitness said that while in motion the bus careened off to one side. When fear-struck passengers raised an alarm, the driver of another KSRTC bus which was behind the one being driven by Rasaak, stopped his vehicle and leapt to the precariously poised vehicle, took charge of the steering wheel and managed to bring the bus to a halt.

“By the time he was shifted to hospital, Rasaak was no more,” the second driver said, adding nevertheless that his colleague had shown tremendous courage in at least trying to stop the bus before he sensed he was not okay.

The Peenya police, which moved Rasaak’s body to MS Ramaiaha hospital and later handed it over to his relatives once an autopsy was done on it, said the driver hailed from Kavakate village in the Bhantwal taluk of Dakshina Kannada and was attached to the Mangalore depot 1. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Amidst the tragic death of Rasaak, the police said that both KSRTC and BMTC should, as a matter of routine, conduct health checks on their drivers. “This is of critical importance because human lives are involved,” a police source said.

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