Passenger saves bus as driver collapses

HERO: Grabbed wheel

Alan O'Keeffe

An investigation is under way after claims that a passenger was forced to bring a coach to a stop after the driver fell unconscious.

The heroic action -- that is believed could have saved those on board the Bus Eireann coach -- happened on the Limerick-Dublin route.

Mosharaf Hossain, who was travelling on the bus, said he noticed the bus veering out of control at 8am near Naas on the M7 motorway.


He said he noticed the driver appeared to be slumped over the steering wheel. Mr Hossain said he took control of the steering wheel and managed to bring the bus to a halt on the side of the motorway.

The bus seemed to hit another car and a barrier before he succeeded in bringing it to a stop, he said.

An ambulance was called and the bus driver was able to walk to an ambulance and taken for a full medical examination.

A Bus Eireann spokesperson said it had begun an investigation into the incident last Friday morning and was in the process of taking statements from the 15 people on board.

The company was "always very grateful" for any help from customers during such incidents. Any passenger who was found to have helped would receive due recognition, said the spokesperson.

There was no significant damage to the bus and the vehicle was examined later by gardai who found no mechanical faults.

A similar incident happened at Dublin Airport three years ago when a quick-thinking bus passenger grabbed the wheel as the driver suffered a heart attack.

The driver of the private bus had just picked up tourists at the airport and was near the hangars on the exit road when he collapsed at the wheel.

The bus full of tourists was just seconds away from the busy motorway.

An off-duty Airport Search Unit officer then saved the bus driver's life with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.