GURUN - Twenty people cheated death in an express bus accident, thanks to the excellent driving skills of the driver.
Although he was unable to prevent the bus from veering to the left and crashing through the side railing after a tyre burst, Lazzuan Ishak managed to avoid hitting some teak trees beside the road before the vehicle landed in a ditch.
Only one passenger was slightly injured. the rest, including Lazzuan and his co-driver, were unhurt in the accident, which occurred at KM82.3 of the North-South Expressway here at about 6am yesterday.
Lazzuan, 39, from Kuala Kedah, said he stepped on the brakes and tried his best to keep the vehicle straight when the front left tyre had a puncture but was unable to do so due to its heavy weight.
"The bus crashed through the side railing but I managed to prevent it from hitting a few big trees and it rolled down the slope beside the expressway.
He said he immediately checked on the condition of the passengers after the bus came to a halt in a ditch some 30m from the road and found that only one female passenger had sustained light injuries on her face.
Lazzuan, who has 10 years of experience driving express buses, said they had started the journey from Kuantan in Pahang at 9pm on Friday and were due to stop in Alor Setar before continuing onwards to Kangar.
Kuala Muda district police chief Asst Comm Khalil Arifin said the accident occurred due to a punctured tyre but added that police would carry out further investigations under Section 42 (3) Road Transport Act 1987.