VELLORE: When a Pernambut-bound private bus from Kuppam in Andhra Pradesh stopped at Venkatagiri Kota terminus in Chitoor on Thursday, the passengers started complaining about the snail’s pace the vehicle had moved in the past 15 minutes. They blamed the driver for the delay. However, when the bus failed to move even after 30 minutes of halt, they began searching for the driver, only to find out he had died of a cardiac arrest. His last deed was to ensure the safety of 35 passengers on board.
A Venkatesan (41), a resident of Erikuthi in Pernambut, was behind the wheels of the bus when moments after leaving Kuppam he began feeling uneasy.
Kuppam circle-inspector M Rajasekhar told Express that Venkatesan informed the conductor that he was not feeling well. “However, he did not clearly state that he had a chest pain. After developing the pain, he still managed to drive the bus till the terminus at a slow pace to avoid any mishap, saving about 30 passengers on the bus,” he added.
The private bus service between Kuppam and Pernambut was managed twice a day by Raman Travels. According to Saravanan, one of the passengers, the bus started from Kuppam at 3 pm. The passengers did not find anything unusual initially.
“However, after a while, the vehicle began to crawl at a snail’s pace and halted at V Kota bus terminus,” he said.
Citing an eye witness account, police officials said that the driver got down from the bus and within a few minutes collapsed near a tea stall there. The conductor of the bus and a passer-by took Venkatesan to a private hospital in Venkatagiri Kota, but he was declared dead on arrival.
The body was sent to Government Palamaner Hospital in Chitoor district for autopsy. Venkatesan is survived by three sons and a daughter. While one of his sons is two-year-old, the other two sons and the daughter study at a private school in Pernambut.