Johor bus crash: Driver only had 3 hours rest

Johor bus crash: Driver only had 3 hours rest
Rasidah (right) bidding farewell to her son Zakeer and granddaughter Nur Natasya at the Muslim cemetery at Masjid Jamek Hashim Yahaya in Jalan Perak on Sunday.
PHOTO: The Star

GEORGE TOWN: The driver of the ill-fated bus that took the lives of 14 passengers only had three hours rest prior to his trip.

His relative Syahril Redzwan, who is a lawyer, said Zakeer Zubir had been driving for nine hours, departing from Penang at 2pm on Friday and arriving in Johor Baru at 11pm.

"He only had three hours rest before driving again at 2am," he told reporters after the burial of Zakeer, 32.

Zakeer's baby daughter, Nur Natasya Zahara, also died in the bus crash. Father and baby shared a grave.

They were buried in the Muslim cemetery at Masjid Jamek Hashim Yahaya in Jalan Perak on Sunday at 6.40am.

His wife Marsi Kemart, believed to be an Indonesian, was also travelling in the bus. She survived the crash and is now in a hospital in Johor.

14 on KL-Johor bus die in Christmas Eve crash

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    Burial of Nur Hazimah Binte Mustafa, 21, together with her mother Faridah Binte Tamron (not in picture), 63.

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    More than 100 relatives of three Singaporean women who died gathered at the Choa Chu Kang Muslim cemetery.

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    About 70 of their relatives, including Madam Faridah's son and another daughter, gathered under a scorching sun at around 1pm.

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    Top to bottom: Hamimah Binte Mammu, Faridah Binte Tamron, Nur Hazimah Binte Mustafa.

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    Sons and relatives of Mdm Hamimah Binte Mammu praying after burial.

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    Sons and relatives of Mdm Hamimah Binte Mammu praying after burial.

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    Three schoolmates of Nur Hazimah Binte Mustafa who were there to pray for their departed friend.

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    13 people including the bus driver were killed and 17 others injured when the express bus they were travelling in skidded and plunged off a 6.09m cliff in Muar, Johor on Dec 24, 2016.

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    Another victim was pronounced dead while receiving treatment at Sultanah Fatimah Specialist Hospital (HPSF) in Muar.

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    The incident took place at Kampung Jayo, Jalan Kangkar-Senangah, Pagoh near Muar at around 4am.

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    Johor Fire and Rescue Department deputy director Mohd Yusof Mohd Gunnos said the bus was heading to Kuala Lumpur from Johor Baru.

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    He said 25 firemen from the Muar, Bukit Gambit and Yong Peng stations were deployed to the location after receiving the distress call at around 4am.

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    Mohd Yusof said initial investigation showed that the road surface was in good condition and it was not raining when the incident happened.

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    Family members of the victims at the Forensic Unit of Sultanah Fatimah Specialist Hospital in Muar.

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    Family members of the bus accident victims waiting outside the ward of Sultanah Fatimah Specialist hospital in Muar at 8.51pm on Dec 24 2016.

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    The list of the dead victims at the Forensic Unit of Sultanah Fatimah Specialist hospital in Muar.

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    The list of the dead victims at the Forensic Unit of Sultanah Fatimah Specialist hospital in Muar.

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    The bodies of the bus driver and his child being loaded into the hearse.

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    The bodies of the bus driver and his child being loaded into the hearse.

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    Businessman Yusof Sabda, 54, cousin of Singaporean victim Ms Hamimah Mammu.

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    Mr Steven Chong, 52, a representative of the Goldstar Exprese bus company. He said his company would help the families with the costs of bringing back the body, as well as insurance claims, but could not yet confirm whether it would be providing any other compensation to the families.

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    Body of Ms Au Poi Kiew being loaded onto the hearse.

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    Relatives of Ms Au Poi Kiew loading her body onto the hearse.

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    Muhd Haikal Bin Syed, (right, walking out) 23, NSF, and Muhd Shamir Bin Syed, (wiping eye) 21, ITE student, both sons of Ms Hamimah Mammu after looking at the body of their mother.

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    Mr Yusof, cousin of Ms Hamimah Mammu, waving at the hearse after the body of Ms Hamimah was loaded onto it.

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    Relatives of Ms Hamimah Mammu hugging after the body was loaded onto the hearse.

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    Entrance of Sultanah Fatimah Specialist Hospital in Muar.

Syahril said the family is contemplating taking legal action against the bus company, Goldstar Express, after the authorities have completed their investigation.

Fourteen people were killed and 16 others injured when the bus plunged into a 10m deep ravine along the North-South Expressway near Muar at 4am on Christmas Eve.

Zakeer's uncle, Abdul Shukoor Abdul Rahim, 63, said the family also wanted an explanation from the company as to why Zakeer did not have co-driver.

He said the company's representative had met them on Saturday after the crash but he was not satisfied with their answer.

He also clarified that Zakeer was not an express bus driver before the mishap as was previously reported but had only started working as one three months ago.

"Before he joined the company, he was a factory bus driver and petty trader," he added.

Zakeer's mother, Rasidah Abdul Rahim, 61, told reporters that he went to see her before driving off.

"He told me he was tired of the job and did not want to continue. He couldn't take the strain and wanted to quit.

"Then he asked me to look after his two older daughters because he wanted his wife and baby to accompany him this time," she said.

Rasidah said it was the first time he wanted the company of his wife on a bus trip.

"He said he was bored of the journey and needed his wife as a companion. They brought the baby along because she was less than a year old."

Zakeer also asked his mother to arrange for their mosque to recite prayers at a feast he wanted to hold to celebrate the birthdays of two of his daughters on New Year's Eve.

His four-year-old daughter is celebrating her birthday tomorrow, while Nur Natasya who perished would have turned one on Jan 14.

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