Every day, we learn about road accidents through coverage in the mass media such as television, radio and newspapers. As we all know, the majority of road accidents are caused by reckless drivers and not by faulty vehicles.
Last Thursday, while I was walking home from school by the side of a highway in Kota Damansara, I witnessed a terrible accident which happened right in front of my eyes. The accident involved a huge lorry and a bus. The lorry, which was travelling on the second lane, was loaded with steel while the bus was packed with passengers and travelling on the third lane. Before the accident occurred, the lorry was ahead of the bus and the distance between them was close. The bus was travelling at a high speed of about 160 kilometres per hour. All of a sudden, the lorry swerved to the third lane. Upon seeing the sudden change, the bus driver tried to brake but it was too late. Subsequently, the bus rammed into the back of the lorry. The impact of the ram was so strong that both vehicles were badly dented and dragged some distance before they came to a halt.
After the accident, some passers-by and many drivers stopped theirs cars to give the victims a helping hand. Just like me, they were shocked by the tragedy. Immediately, I ran to a nearby phone booth and called 999 to inform the relevant authorities about the accident. I also called for an ambulance. Although we managed to rescue a few of the victims, many of them were trapped on the bus. About 15 minutes later, the police, firefighters and a few ambulances arrived at the scene and started the rescue work at once. While the police were controlling the traffic and talking to the eyewitnesses, the firefighters were helping the victims to exit from the bus. They were then treated by the paramedics at the roadside before being rushed to hospital.
It was a horrifying scene that made me sick when the dead victims were taken out of the bus. Some of them had their stomachs ripped apart while some had fractured skulls, among other fatal injuries. Not long after, the large amount of diesel fuel on the ground that was leaked from the oil tanks of the two vehicles somehow ignited. On seeing the blaze, everybody panicked. After requesting everyone to stay away from the fire, the firefighters managed to put it out and stop it from spreading. Luckily, no one was injured and the rescue work resumed.
A few hours later, all the victims were pulled from the wreckage and the rescue operation ended. The deceased were sent to the hospital mortuary, where they were claimed by their next of kin.
I learn a valuable lesson from the tragic accident - all road users should observe traffic rules strictly to reduce accidents to a minimum. Otherwise, many innocent civilians are injured and even killed. A road userís carelessness, negligence and recklessness can bring pains and sufferings not only to himself but a lot of other people as well. Hopefully, such tragic accidents will increase public awareness of the importance of obeying traffic regulations and reduce accidents.