“Same Accident but different Perception”
The Police report read that bus number 011-1234 while on its route from Ambattur to Madras on April 16, 1986, had an accident some 30 miles from Poonamallee-an apparent collision against a banyan tree. When the policeman on beat arrived at the scene around 1.30 pm. He was unable to locate the driver. The passengers –some 35 on them were in state of panic. All of them had got down from the bus and many were sitting under the shade of a nearby tree some distance from where the bus-stood with its damaged front parts. Children were crying and the women passengers were screaming as they saw the policeman walk towards them. The men were talking loudly, all at the same time. Nobody is able to state clearly what had happened or at what time exactly the accident had taken place. Estimate when the accident occurred varied from 35 minutes to 2 hour earlier. Three day later, the general Manager of Pandyan transport was sitting at his desk looking at three different reports in front of him. One was the Police man’s report which detailed the extent of damaged to the bus, and the fact that the driver had abandoned the bus without telling the passenger where he was going or what they should be doing. The Regional Transport Officer (RTO) who was summoned to the scene two hour later also fields a report of his assessment of the damage. He stated that Thangavelu, the driver, whose record indicated that he had been a fairly safe driver for almost two decades, had been involved couple of minor accident in the past six months. The first was when he hit a cyclist who fortunately sustained only some minor bruises and had the cycle intact. The second when he drove in to a ditch on a rainy night. Fortunately, again, there were no serious injuries to anyone and no damage to the bus. The RTO said that he had suspicion that Thangavelu was perhaps driving under the...
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