Twenty-five bus passengers were injured yesterday morning when another passenger allegedly grabbed the steering wheel, causing the driver to veer off the road before crashing into a tree in Mbombela, Mpumalanga.
Police spokesperson Captain Dawie Pretorius said the bus was en route to the city from Barberton when a squabble erupted between the driver and a female passenger, Lowvelder reported.
“The female passenger went to fight with the driver while she was driving and it hampered the driver’s control of the bus,” he said.
The driver was not injured in the commotion and the suspect is in custody. She was expected to appear in the Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.
The police are also investigating a charge of reckless and negligent driving, and common assault against the female suspect.
Gerty Greyling of Life Med ambulance services briefly spoke to passengers who were in the bus during the incident. She said the suspect wanted to alight from the bus before the bus stop. When the driver refused to stop, the passenger pulled the steering wheel, causing the driver to lose control.
The injured were rushed to Rob Ferreira Hospital and Mediclinic Nelspruit. At least one of them suffered a broken leg. Most of them walked to the health facilities unaided.
Patrick Malabela, operations manager of Buscor — the company which owns the bus — said the company did not condone such behaviour from passengers.
“We will make sure that we follow the case and let the law take its course. We won’t allow one individual to endanger the lives of many others,” he said.
– Caxton News Service