Saturday, November 16

Batu Kawa school van crash: ‘I felt so helpless and anxious when I saw my injured child’


The crash saw all nine students and another three in the other vehicles being rushed to hospital for treatment.

KUCHING: When you become a parent, oftentimes you put your needs aside and make sure your number one priority is your children – their happiness, their feelings and their safety.

So imagine the maelstrom of emotion when parents received the news that the school van carrying their children had been involved in a four-car collision along Jalan Batu Kawa at around 6.10am earlier today.

When met at the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH), a 37-year-old mother broke down into tears when she relayed how anxious she felt when she got the call.

“I was so anxious when I received the call,” she said, her voice quivering, “When I saw my child in that condition, I felt so helpless. But what can we do? It was fate, we can only hope for the best.”

Her nine-year-old son had sustained rather serious injuries to his face and arms in the accident that occurred when a Myvi crashed into the school van, causing it to swerve into oncoming traffic.

“He’s okay now and just needs another check-up from the doctor before he can be discharged. But I hope that drivers would be more careful when driving there as that is an accident-prone area,” she lamented.

Another parent, who is a secondary school teacher, had been on the way to work when he received a call from the school van driver.

“I immediately rushed to the SGH Accident and Emergency Department when I got the call, so I could check on my three children,” he said.

Another mother from Jalan Stephen Yong Vista Garden said that her four sons, a pair of 11-year-old twins, a 10-year-old and eight-year-old, usually took the van to school but she had not expected them to be involved in an accident.

Several schoolchildren can be seen alighting from the damaged van after the crash.

“When I received news about the accident, I immediately rushed to SGH to check on their condition. One of my 11-year-old son’s left hand was fractured, and needs to be monitored in the hospital while his twin brother only got minor scratches.

“My 10-year-old complained of a headache and my eight-year-old son’s condition is still unsure (at the time of writing), so I’m still waiting for the report from the hospital’s specialist doctors,” she said.

Another mother, aged 41, was actually transporting her three children, aged 12, 10 and seven to the primary school and had almost reached its entrance when a car from oncoming traffic crashed into her car.

“We felt very uncomfortable, but luckily we only sustained minor injuries,” she said, explaining that she works as a nurse at Batu Kawa Clinic.

The school van driver said that when she had been hit by the Myvi she lost control and hit a road divider, causing the van to collide head-on with two other vehicles but she tried to control the van to avoid it from falling into the drain.

After learning of the accident, the headmaster and a few teachers also went to SGH to check on the children and students involved.