SHAH ALAM: A taxi driver whose vehicle was hit by a Fire and Rescue Department’s fire truck could not remember much of what transpired that early morning of Nov 27 last year.
K. Arumugam, 66, told the coroner’s court that he was “dazed” after his taxi was hit by the fire truck as it reversed out of the vicinity of the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple.
He is the eleventh witness called for the inquest into the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.
Arumugam said that he passed the area while on his way home and stopped his taxi behind the Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) van.
This was established as the van Muhammad Adib was in.
He said that he saw the fire truck reverse and hit the van first, before hitting his taxi.
“After being hit, I didn’t remember anything as I was dazed and I felt scared.
“I didn’t notice anything that happened after the collision.”
He sat in his taxi feeling dazed for about 20 to 25 minutes, before a knock on his window “woke” him up. He said several people from the crowd helped him out of his taxi as his door was jammed.
When asked by lawyer Syazlin Mansor, who is representing Housing and Local Government Ministry for the inquest, on what else he remembered from that morning, Arumugam said that he was too dazed from the collision that he did not notice anything else.
Syazlin: You said you sat in your car for about an hour (at the scene). Did you see a fireman being brought out from the area?
Arumugam: I was not paying attention (saya tidak perhatikan).
When asked by Syazlin whether he noticed anything before the collision between the fire truck and his taxi, Arumugam said he only noticed people milling about.
He, however, said he did witness the fire truck hitting the EMRS van that was in front of him.
When asked by Syazlin on why he did not reverse his taxi when he saw the fire truck hit the EMRS van in front of him, he said that he did not expect the truck to hit him.
Syazlin: When you saw the fire truck reverse, why did you not turn your car and leave?
Arumugam: When I realised the fire truck was reversing I didn't expect it to hit me. I thought it was looking for another way to move, but suddenly it hit me.
Syazlin: You said you thought the fire truck was looking for a way, but you saw what happened to the van in front?
Arumugam: I saw the van being hit and pushed (back) by the fire truck. I didn't know it will hit me.
He told the coroner’s court that he was left stunned by the collision.
Yesterday was the seventh day of the inquest. Held at Shah Alam Sessions Court, the inquest will continue tomorrow.
Judge Rofiah Mohamad sits as coroner for the inquest.
Muhammad Adib, 24, was critically injured when he and his team mates from the Subang Jaya fire station responded to an emergency at the temple where riots were happening last November.
He was taken by members of the public to SJMC before being transferred to the National Heart Institute (IJN) for further treatment.
He passed away on Dec 17 at 9.41pm at IJN.
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