Apologies offered by driver of the ill-fated bus

The driver of the ill-fated bus which skidded and overturned at KM38 Genting Sempah on Friday, killing seven and injuring 39 others, apologized unreservedly to the families of the victims.

The 36-year-old, driver, said the accident was caused by break failure and regretted what had happened.

“I wish to apologize to the families of the victims. I really did everything in my capacity to avoid the accident but since the break failed, I was helpless,” he said when met at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) here today.

The driver who suffered a broken right leg and currently receiving treatment in HKL, was remanded for four days since yesterday, would be investigated under Section 41 of the Road Transport Act 1987, for reckless driving and causing death.

According to the driver, upon realising that the break had failed, he applied the hand brake but that too did not help and efforts to engage the gear to minimize speed had also been futile.

I tried to engage the gear but it too did not work because of the broken break piping,” he said.

The driver claimed that contrary to claims that he had no driving licence, his licence was suspended by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) claiming that it was not a valid licence.

“I had no choice but to continue driving because I have no other job and have three schooling children and my wife is not working,” he said.

He added that though the bus company knew that he did not have a valid driving licence, it (company) allowed him to continue working.

“Since there were no drivers, the company sought my help to drive the bus to Genting,” he said.

The ill-fated bus with 44 youths aged between 14 and 25 from several villages in Baling, Kedah, was on an educational trip and had left Kedah at 11pm Thursday before arriving in Genting Highlands at 8am Friday.

At 7pm on Friday, the entourage left Genting Highlands for Kampung Melayu Subang to participate in a homestay programme but was involved in the accident.

In the accident, seven people were killed, 17 seriously injured while 22 others escaped with minor injuries, including the two bus drivers.