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Old 15th October 2008, 06:32   #1
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Default Volvo B7R CRASH & me inside...

I was traveling in a Volvo B7R Bus owned and operated by Conti Travels, Coimbatore. I work in Bangalore and Coimbatore being my home town, I do make frequent trips to my home town. In the past 3.5 years, on an average I made at least 15 to and fro trips per year. And almost 85% of the time, I did my reservations with Conti Travels.

This tragedy happened when I was coming back from Coimbatore in the Month of May, 2008 (11th to be Precise). It was a cloudy afternoon and my cousin dropped me at the Conti Bus station. The time should have been 1:00 PM I guess. My seat # was 14 and it was a window seat in the left hand side of the bus when you sit. I secured my bag in the luggage compartment above me and sat in my seat. 10 minutes past I got in the bus, it started to move. Thanks to the Swedish technology, it treated every one like a baby in a cradle as it moved. Time was 1:30 PM

I sent a few texts to my folks at home about the departure and bidding a virtual goodbye. As usual I was looking forward for an amazing journey through the country side and it would last for about 7 to 8 hours. One thing I always love about these guys is that, 95% of the time, they were never late nor too fast and the staffs were friendly.

These guys generally used the following road. Coimbatore - Sathyamangalam Mettur Thoppur Dharmapuri - Krishnagiri - Hosur - Banglaore. Roads from Sathy to Mettur were through small villages/towns and roads were narrow but the roads were good. I started to read the book and been texting a friend of mine. Some times, people get physic before a trip or before finishing a deal and they decline to go forward. I did not feel nothing of that sort from the morning.

The bus crossed sathyamangalam and the bus was full. I was reading a book and next to me was a middle aged man in his 40's also reading a book. The sky was no more cloudy and was bright now. You really can't precisely judge the speed the bus was on, but can say he was doing about 70 kmph.

4:15 PM, 13 kms to Mettur. This place is called Periyapallam. It was a straight road (determined later) and opposite to the bus was a 2 wheeler guy (Drunk- was told later) swaying from left to right on his Suzuki 'some thing'. He was almost 200 mts far from the bus, still jay riding towards his right. May be his intentions were to take the mud road on the right for him. No fault of the bus driver, now the 2 wheeler guy thinks he will stick to his left and confused this bus driver (who was already in the middle of the road). It should be 7 seconds before the disaster and a few of us knew some thing was wrong.

There were people many people sleeping, a baby was crying & some were awake. It was not the usual braking force, but 10 times the usual force which pushes your nerves to catch hold of some thing... The bags, boxes and laptop's fell off the luggage compartment. It happened. The bus driver could not avoid the two wheeler guy. I could hear some one in the front seat screaming. Thuddd, I saw that horrible thing. Yes, a man in his late 30's lay on his back on the road, his foot was on his head. A terrible scene. I think he should ve passed after soon after 5 seconds as I heard the thuddd.


The bus almost in right hand side edge of the road falls in to the paddy field/some field on it's side . Basically it almost turned turtle. I remember every thing, those 30 seconds in my life - I don't think I can ever forget. The glasses were shattered; people were thrown from their seats to the opposite side. I remember falling to the other side and landed my lower back on one of the seats. I felt like some thing snapped off inside my right leg. I double check myself and I was not bleeding or nothing. Many people were bleeding and it was so dusty inside. I helped 2 or 3 people to their foot (literally). Some one was breaking the front windshield. I hear another thuddd, the huge windshield was pushed on the field and that sound itself sent shivers to my spine. I collected my bag, lost my glasses and walked out of the Swedish cocoon.

That was the first time I knew what's shock- I think i was shaken on the whole and felt too weak even to walk. I knew some thing was wrong with my lower back, I called my folks to pick me up. Coimbatore was 2.5 hours from Mettur. Slowly the pain was intense and I got a ride to one of the local hospitals. The local hospital in Mettur was not of much help. I asked them to do some thing about the pain & I told them I am going back home.

My dad and my cousin came to pick me up at 6:15 from the hospital in Mettur. Ride back to coimbatore was hell. It was a fiesta and I was just not able to sit. The pain killer did work after a while. Reached home and at 10 and had food ate the pain killer again and slept. Next morning went to the doc(known one) and he says there is a hairline crack L3 Transverse and advised me 3 weeks rest with a belt. Long painful vacation at home.

I still feel bad for the two wheeler guy. A week later when I called conti to check what is the scene, they said the guy was drunk and thus it's ease on their company.

I just took a picture when I walked out of the bus...

Volvo B7R CRASH & me inside...-dsc00190-custom.jpg

Volvo B7R CRASH & me inside...-dsc00191-custom.jpg

Volvo B7R CRASH & me inside...-dsc00194-custom.jpg
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Old 15th October 2008, 06:39   #2
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That's a scary experience - hope you and others with injuries are fully recovered now. Enroute to Yercaud, mjothi & I saw many such 'Tamilkudimagans' on motorcycles - we were fortunate to avoid contact with them.
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Old 15th October 2008, 06:50   #3
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Man that was real scary. Its good to know that you escaped with that injuries. So, how are you now? Back to work?

Yes. This has become a normal scene in here. Also, we saw a Alto front totally damaged in Kaveripatnam.
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Old 15th October 2008, 06:53   #4
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Originally Posted by hrag View Post
That was a good one. I am hearing the word after a long time... Yeah hrag, I have recovered 99.99%. Still avoiding long travel distances & biking.

Though it was the drunk guy's mistake, in 5 - 10 mts, there was already a mob searching for the Bus Driver. Both the Drivers immediately fled the scene and came later with the police.
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Old 15th October 2008, 07:01   #5
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Thank God you are a lot better now - am sure you would be 100% up and about pretty soon. I am not to judge if drinking is a bad or not - drinking irresponsibly definitely is! May the 'kudimagan' RIP...
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Old 15th October 2008, 07:20   #6
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Hey thats really scary stuff bro. Good that you got out of it with minor injuries. Drunk drivers not only risk their lives but also put others lives to risk.. I am sure people would have been tumbling inside the bus like a washing machine spin cycle.. I feel buses like VOLVOS should offer seat belts to passengers.
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Old 15th October 2008, 07:25   #7
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nevertouchme: Hope your lumbar vertebra heals back quickly as good as new, soon. Are you still on painkillers?
Get well soon.

What a narrative, and with pics too.
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Old 15th October 2008, 07:47   #8
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The title itself was chilling, but knowing that you wrote it, one knows that you are Ok.

It is a pity that after any accident, the local ruffians gang up searching for the driver of the vehicle they deem guilty, even ending up in lynching sometimes. If only people would understand that accidents are just that - accidents, never intended.
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Old 15th October 2008, 08:00   #9
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That was close!!! Narrative was like reading a thriller!
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Old 15th October 2008, 08:15   #10
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Jai, good to know that you're pretty much recovered. Usually, these injuries to the back are tricky.

Any idea of any more serious casualities among the passengers in the bus?
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Old 15th October 2008, 08:33   #11
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That was scary! Hope you have recoverd by now!

Nothing much can be done if someone is drunk and determined to create nuisance on a public road!
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Old 15th October 2008, 09:10   #12
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Damn that was scary man, get well soon man.

Any life threatening injuries to other people on the Bus, I remember you mentioned there was a baby too
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Old 15th October 2008, 09:12   #13
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That was an unfortunate accident :(

But it is good to hear that you have recovered 99.9%. Wish you a speedy recovery for the remaining .1%.

I agree, the narrative was well written and very easy to relate to.
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Old 15th October 2008, 10:25   #14
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That was really an unfortunate incident. Must very well narrated incident !!

Get well soon bro.

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Old 15th October 2008, 10:29   #15
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Nevertouchme, hope you have recovered fully, both physically and mentally from the incident.

I have travelled by Conti a number of time and it was a wonderful experience, with the way they drive and the courtesy of the staff. Unfortunate that one of theirs met with this accident. But the driver should have been a bit more careful, he should have know better about these 'Tamilkudimagan'!!!
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