HIGHWAY CRASH: Victims thrown out of vehicle
HULU SELANGOR: THREE people were killed and 24 others injured when a bus crashed into a road divider at a the Sungai Buaya interchange being constructed at Km434 of the North-South Expressway, near the Bukit Beruntung toll plaza, yesterday.
The dead were identified as bus driver S. Velmurugu, 44, and passengers K. Vimala, 54 and Setapa Mat, 46.
All three were thrown out of the vehicle in the 1.50am accident and died on the spot.
The injured were treated at the Sungai Buloh Hospital. These included Fahdilah Rasmi, 14, Salbiah Abdul Rahman, 64, and Raja Nor Hayer Raja Yusof, 57.
Hulu Selangor police chief Superintendent Norel Azmi Yahaya said the chartered bus was travelling with 48 people aboard from Chenderiang, Perak, to Malacca.
"Initial investigations revealed that no other vehicle was involved in the accident.
"Checks also found that the area was dark at the time of the incident as there were no lamp posts."
The New Straits Times went to the location and saw the bus lying on its left side in the middle of the highway.
Setapa's son, Syamin, 18, said he was notified about the accident by a relative at 3am but was not informed that his father had died.
He added that his father, who was Velmurugu's friend, was seated close to the bus driver.
"I've just started working as a storekeeper in KL and had planned to present my father with my first salary, but this will never materialise," said the eldest of five siblings outside the Kuala Kubu Baru Hospital mortuary.
Syamin said his mother refused to believe that she was now a widow.
Setapa was a Tok Batin (Orang Asli village head) in Chenderiang.
Vimala's 37-year-old son, K. Ravinathan said he received a call from a relative on the bus, notifying him that his mother had died.
"She called me at 1.30am and I arrived at the hospital at 6am. I couldn't believe the news... she looked happy when she left the house on Monday at 10pm.
"My mum didn't earn much as she was only a rubber tapper, so she was really happy when the vacation only cost her RM50.
"We did not know that it would be the last vacation for her.
"Luckily, two of her grandchildren, aged 10 and 13, who tagged along, were unharmed."