Mahesh (32) had been a driver for the last 18 years, and was no stranger to big vehicles such as trucks and buses. A god-fearing man, he would say a small prayer each time he took the wheel.
On Friday morning, as the bus driven by him rammed a slow moving truck on the Yamuna Expressway, Mahesh didn’t stand a chance — the front of the bus was mangled beyond recognition, and skid marks on the highway indicated that while he did hit the brakes, it couldn’t come to a stop in time.
“He was used to driving, and would do an average of 12 hours a day. He has been on the Jalaun-Delhi route for three years now. Before that, he drove a truck for a private transport company. His wife and four-year-old son are distraught,” said Naresh, a relative who rushed from his village in Dholpur.
On Friday, the wreckage lay next to the highway near Kasna’s Sports City. Bus helper Bandu, whose task was to wake up passengers once they exited the Expressway, was sitting next to Mahesh and also died in the accident. Mahesh’s employer Vinesh Sinha claimed he had received “no complaints” about his driving in the past.
Also among the victims was 25-year-old Vineeta, who was travelling with her husband Karan Singh (30) and son Shivank (8). Karan, relatives said, was to start a new job there, and his family was overjoyed.
“Both Karan and Shivank have been discharged. The boy last saw his mother before sleeping,” said Kuldeep, a relative.