SEREMBAN - For 40 years, K. Saraswathi has been selling kacang puteh at a five-foot-way along the busy Jalan Dato Bandar Tunggal near here.
A popular figure, the 61-year-old mother of two made many friends over the years and most of them eventually became her regular customers.
The widow has remained at the same spot ever since, although the owners of the premises where she sells her snacks have changed hands many times.
Even the name of the stretch has changed from Birch Road to its present name.
Selling kacang puteh may have helped her raise, educate and marry off her two children after her husband died more than 20 years ago but it almost claimed her life yesterday.
Saraswathi was serving two regular customers just after 1pm when a Perodua Viva driven by a woman crashed into her cart, missing her by inches.
However, her customers were not as fortunate when they were hit.
"My two customers were injured and my cart was slightly damaged as well.
"I dread to think what would have happened - I was standing only a few inches away from the runaway car," said Saraswathi.
Moments earlier, the car had crashed into a Perodua Myvi, a traffic light and several motorcycles before heading in the direction of her customers and her cart. The car then crashed through the glass panels at a confectionery and came to a halt when it hit a wall.
Passers-by helped the middle-aged motorist and a young child out of the vehicle.
The injured customers, the woman and the child were then rushed to the Tuanku Ja'afar Hospital where they were reported to be in stable condition.
Saraswathi, who sells kacang puteh from 1pm to 4pm, said her ritual of performing a short prayer every day before she left her house in Bukit Tembok saved her life.
"God has spared my life. For that I am most thankful," said Saraswathi, adding that she would continue to sell her famous snacks there for as long as she is able.