An unexpected turn of events took place along the North-South Expressway yesterday (Sunday, 10th June).
The incident, which happened near the Menora Tunnel, Ipoh at 2:45pm, caused traffic to come to a standstill after an out-of-control express bus rammed into at least 10 cars on the southbound lane. 2 passengers were injured as a result.
A video recording showed the bus driver speeding along the highway. Despite the heavy traffic on that stretch, the bus proceeded to squeeze between the 2 lanes, before ramming into vehicles along its path.
“The bus then rammed into the right side of one of the cars before hitting the left side of the another car. The bus did not stop and rammed into a 3rd car in front, causing 7 more cars to crash into one another,” said Perak traffic police chief Supt Wan Jamil Wan Chik.
The vehicle has since been identified as a STAR QISTNA express bus, with the number plate BLB 6936. Investigations have been carried out to see whether the bus had encounter brake problems or if the driver had simply dozed off.
“The Perak police take this matter seriously and will conduct a thorough investigation involving technical, negligence, the influence of drugs and alcohol as well as other issues,” Supt Wan Jamil said via WhatsApp.
Watch the shocking incident below:
As it turns out, Ipoh OCPD Assistant Commissioner Sum Chang Keong confirmed that the bus had indeed experienced a technical problem when heading down the slope. “The brakes weren’t functioning well. As a result, the bus headed down the slope at high speed and rammed into 10 other cars in front,” he told The Star.
The 51-year-old driver from Johor is currently in custody to assist the police in their investigations under Section 42(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987 for reckless driving.
UPDATE (12th July, 10:25am):
The driver of the bus who rammed into 10 cars near the Menora Tunnel on the NSE had been ordered to be remanded for 4 days (from yesterday until Thursday) to help facilitate in the ongoing investigations.
According to reports, this particular STAR QISTNA express bus (BLB 6936) has a record of 63 unpaid summonses from previous traffic offences, while the 51-year-old driver had 9 outstanding summonses between 2011 and 2015.
Wan Jamil, meanwhile, confirmed that the man’s urine test came back negative for drugs.