Passengers Take the Wheel after Coach Driver Passes Out while Hurtling down Freeway
Passengers of a chartered bus traveling on Freeway 3 in Changhua County grabbed the wheel of a coach, and took control, after the driver passed out from a suspected heart attack this morning, December 18.
At around 8:30am, the coach carrying a group of 40 family and friends heading to Nantou for a funeral, suddenly drifted left into the inner lane of the freeway after the driver passed out.
The coach hit the central traffic divider, waking up a passenger beside the driver, who reached out and grabbed the wheel with one hand to steady the vehicle.
However, the passenger appeared to be wearing a seat belt, and was only able to hold the wheel with one outstretched left-hand. The man called for help as the coach bounced off the guardrail a second time.
Another passenger rushed forward and grabbed the wheel with both hands and steadied the vehicle, while struggling to take the driver’s foot off the throttle as the bus continued hurtling down the road.
The whole terrifying incident lasted about 90 seconds until the coach finally came to a safe stop on the road shoulder.
A fire department ambulance was dispatched to the scene and officers performed CPR and AED first aid on the 49-year-old driver, Mr Wang, who had no breathing and heartbeat when the paramedics arrived.
Wang was rushed to Changhua Christian Hospital where he underwent emergency cardiac surgery.
The Changhua Passenger Transport Company bus was not extensively damaged during the incident. A company spokesperson said that Mr Wang had been employed for 21 years, and that all drivers undergo a yearly medical examination.
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