On February 24, passengers aboard the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus from Kottayam to Thiruvananthapuram had a miraculous escape. The driver of the said bus died of cardiac arrest, but before he collapsed he steered the bus to safety.
The driver of the bus was 43-year-old Saju Mathew. A native of Thidanad, Kottayam district, Kerala, Mathew was attached to the Erattupetta bus depot of KSRTC, reported The Hindu. He was the driver of Chennad-Thiruvananthapuram fast passenger bus. The bus was carrying about 26 passengers and had just left from Kottayam when Mathew suffered a cardiac arrest.
At around 9:35 am, the bus left Kottayam depot for Changanassery and the incident took place at Kodimatha. Reports say that as soon as the bus got on the bridge, Mathew started feeling uneasy in the chest. Fearing that he may lose control of the bus, Mathew pulled the hand brake of the bus and brought the bus to halt. Soon after this, he collapsed and fell on the steering, as reported by The Times of India.
Sensing that the bus had unexpectedly stopped, Aneesh, the bus conductor and another KSRTC driver TK Lal who was also travelling in the bus rushed towards Mathew. Lal then took over the bus which he then drove to the general hospital in the town. A couple of nurses were also travelling on the same bus who tried to give Mathew first aid. V.M. Abdul Nasar, Kottayam’s District Transport Officer told The Hindu, “A nurse who was among the passengers examined him and confirmed the cardiac arrest. Soon, another driver who was on board took over the wheels and rushed Mathew to the Government Hospital. However, it was too late for him.”
Mathew was reportedly alive when he was brought to the hospital, however, he breathed his last in the casualty wing. Just three months back, he had undergone an angioplasty in a private hospital. Mathew is survived by wife Jancy and daughter Catharine.
The Logical Indian Take
Death of Saju Mathew is certainly an unfortunate event. However, one cannot help but be in awe of his presence of mind even he was on the verge of collapsing. About 26 lives were saved, thanks to Mathew’s quick action. While he might have passed away, he did save over two dozen lives for which The Logical Indian salutes him.