Mon, 14 Aug 2000

Two die after being hit by speeding bus

JAKARTA (JP): Two people died after a speeding intercity bus plowed into their motorbikes on Jl. Margonda Raya in Depok on Sunday morning.

The two victims, along with three others, had been stopped by police officers conducting a regular operation as they were returning home from a party at a relative's house in Depok.

Masduki, 40, one of those stopped by the police, said the five were traveling on Jl. Margonda when officers from the Depok Traffic Police pulled them over.

"We were taking out our driver's licenses when I saw a policeman in front of me gasp," Masduki told The Jakarta Post and SCTV.

"It happened too fast. The next thing I knew I was lying on the road after being unconscious for a while," Masduki said from the emergency room of Bakti Yudha Hospital in Depok.

Masduki, his brother Zainal Samir, 37, and their friend Samsul Hadi, 40, suffered broken bones. Masduki's other brother, Towi Kamal, 39, and his friend Sugiarto, 40, died from the injuries they received in the accident.

Towi was pronounced dead at Bakti Yudha Hospital, while doctors at Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital in Central Jakarta were unable to save Sugiarto.

Forty-year-old Amarjit S., who was in a restaurant next to where the accident occurred, said the scene was horrible.

"I was eating when I heard a loud crash. When I ran out, I saw four motorcycles severely damaged and five people lying on the road, bleeding. It was terrible," Amarjit told the Post, adding that he also saw two buses at the scene.

Amarjit said he assumed one of the buses had crashed into the motorcycles when he saw the driver of one of the buses attempt to flee.

"I shouted to the police officer, 'Catch that man, Pak' and ended up helping the police catch the driver," Amarjit said.

However, the driver of the other bus managed to escape, Amarjit said, adding there were between 40 and 50 policemen present at the time.

The detained driver, identified as Hasudungan Manalu, 32, plied the Jakarta-Bogor route in the bus owned by Indah Murni.

According to a police report, Hasudungan was drunk and racing the other driver, identified as Samsudi, 35, when the accident occurred.

"Suddenly Hasudungan hit the brakes, causing Samsudi to pull his vehicle to the left and hit the motorcycles," the report said, adding that the bus also hit a Toyota sedan which had been stopped by the police. (jaw)