Diwali cheer almost transpires into a nightmare

If recent instances of reckless driving endangered the lives of travellers, even shoppers were proven to be no exception from being harmed by inconsiderate driving methods.

That was what happened in Sitiawan, Perak today when a small pick-up truck rammed straight into a clothing outlet full of Indians who were busy doing their last-minute Deepavali shopping, seriously injuring at least one person.

The incident occurred at about 2pm today, when the driver wanted to reverse the truck that was parked at the parking space right in front of the shop.

Instead of reversing, the driver apparently pressed on the accelerator and rammed into the shop, and further damage was only prevented thanks to a steel rod which managed to halt the truck from going further into the outlet.

A man carrying a small child was caught under the truck, and was seen limping when he was finally removed from underneath it. He was subsequently rushed to the Seri Manjung hospital here in an ambulance, though the child is believed to be safe and escaped injuries.

One of the visitors to the outlet managed to save his two children, but only just.

“Thank god I managed to sense something was wrong when the truck started moving, so I immediately threw my children into the shop, I threw them so hard they fell down inside,” he said, clearly trying to control his tears and looking visibly shaken.

The driver, who for some time refused to come out of the truck, had to face the wrath of the public, when he was dragged out of the truck and mobbed by a group of angry men.

He was later seen walking around with a bleeding nose.

Police arrived at the scene half-an-hour later, though it couldn’t be confirmed whether they arrested the driver.

According to other onlookers, the driver was allegedly drunk which led to the unfortunate incident.

The outlet, known for its cheap clothing prices, is a favourite destination for lower-income Indian shoppers especially during the festive season.

A KomunitiKini journalist was also at the scene when the incident occurred, and was initially standing the shop’s compound but left just seconds before the truck caused chaos and dismay among the shoppers.