Thu, 17 Jul 2003

Police want bus company owner after crash

Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

Tangerang Police will send officers to the Arief Rahman Hakim bus company offices, demanding the company's owner take responsibility for the collision between a bus and truck on the Tangerang to Jakarta toll road on Tuesday that claimed six lives and injured 34 others.

"We have summoned the company owner to take responsibility for the incident but he has not yet shown up. We'll send officers to forcibly bring him to our office if necessary," said Tangerang Police traffic division chief, Adj. Comr. Titik Setianingsih on Wednesday.

Police are also still searching for bus driver Jaspen, who escaped. Jaspen, who lives in Umung Jaya subdistrict, Jati Uwung district, Tangerang, fled the scene soon after the tragedy.

Titik said that police had managed to identify two victims: the bus driver's assistant, Hutabarat, 30, and a passenger, Rais, 40.

She added that the number of fatalities would likely increase in view of the critical condition of 10 severely injured passengers. One of them, Marzuki, had to be transferred from Graha Medika hospital, Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta, to Cipto Mangunkusumo general hospital, Central Jakarta, due to the seriousness of his injuries.

Tuesday's accident, the fourth on the Tangerang toll road this year, took place at 5:50 a.m. when the overloaded bus hit a container truck after passing the Karang Tengah toll gate, later hitting another parked truck. Both the bus and the second truck end up in a ditch.

Relative of Yery Tude -- one of the victims who lived in Serpong, Tangerang -- went to the Tangerang general hospital morgue late on Tuesday to claim his remains.

"I never thought that Yery would die so soon. We haven't yet told his wife that he was killed in the accident. I cannot face her and their six-month-old baby. I just hope my younger sister can deal with it," said Harun Taliawo, Yery's brother-in-law.

Yery's friend Endan Dansah said that Yery had uttered a strange thing the morning before the accident.

"I don't feel like working today; that's unusual, isn't it?" Endan quoted Yery as saying.

"We'll really miss him. I never thought that our conversation would be the last," he said while accompanying Harun to claim Yery's body.