Kottayam: A KSRTC bus driver suffered a massive heart attack while on duty but managed to retain his presence of mind and stopped the vehicle saving the lives of all 32 passengers on board the bus, and died soon after his effort. Saju Mathew, 40, who was with the Erattupetta depot, succumbed to cardiac arrest around 9:30am Sunday. He hails from Thidanadu, near here.
Saju, who was driving Chennadu-Thiruvananthapuram bus, experienced severe chest pain when the vehicle reached Kodimatha Junction. As the pain became unbearable, he parked the bus by the road side and informed the conductor of the uneasiness. Though the conductor insisted him to drink some water, he refused and soon collapsed over the wheel, after applying hand brake.
Another driver, T K Lal, with the Chengannur depot of the KSRTC who also was travelling in the bus, rushed the vehicle to Kottayam General Hospital. Meanwhile, the passengers and nursing students who were in the bus, administered Saju the first aid, but to no avail.
Saju is survived by wife Jancy and daughter Catherine who is a UKG student of St Alphonsa Public School, Aruvithura.
The body will be brought to Erattupetta KSRTC depot at 4:30pm for the public to pay last respects. The funeral will be held at St Joseph’s Church, Maniyankulam on Tuesday.