Vietnamese truck driver gains kudos for putting life on the line to prevent bus disaster

By Hoai Thanh   September 7, 2016 | 07:45 pm PT
The driver lets the bus crash into the back of him to slow the speeding vehicle down.

Phan Van Bac, 30, a driver in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, used his truck to save the lives of more than 30 passengers on a bus that had lost its brakes on Tuesday.

While driving down the Bao Loc Pass in Lam Dong, Bac heard people screaming from a passenger bus behind him. In his mirrors the driver could see the bus was speeding out of control with the passengers waving desperately for help.

Realizing the brakes on the bus may have failed, Bac used his indicators to signal to the bus driver to run into the back of him to help slow it down. Despite the impact, Bac managed to control the truck and both vehicles came to halt 500 meters down the road.

"I had no choice but to do so," Bac said. "Otherwise the consequences would have been very tragic."

Only one of the passengers on the bus was injured while the bus and truck were damaged.


Driver Phan Van Bac (L) and the bus was damaged during the daring maneuver. Photo by VnExpress/Hoai Thanh

The truck driver’s brave and smart response was also praised by the passengers and passers-by. President Tran Dai Quang, Minister of Transport Truong Quang Nghia and the National Steering Committee of Traffic Safety on Thursday lauded Bac for his action.

“I was trying to keep the bus from going off the cliff when I saw Bac’s signals," said Toan, the bus driver. "I am sincerely grateful for his kind actions that helped save the passengers.” 

Bao Loc is one of the three passes on the road from Dau Day in the southern province of Dong Nai to the popular resort town of Da Lat. Accidents happen frequently on the 10-km pass due to its sharp bends and steep inclines.

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Seven killed in accident involving tourist bus near Da Lat

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