‘Bus driver attacker was hallucinating’, police say over fatal accident in Indonesia

Fatal smash: An official of the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) checks a badly damaged Safari bus on June 17 following an accident on the Cipali toll road. The accident, which involved four vehicles at KM151, claimed 12 lives and left 45 injured. (Antara/Dedhez Anggara). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

JAKARTA, Jun 22, 2019, The Jakarta Post. Anshor, the suspect behind the fatal bus accident that killed 12 people on the Cikopo–Palimanan (Cipali) toll road in West Java earlier this week is alleged to suffer from mental illness, a police official said, reported The Jakarta Post.

The 29-year-old allegedly suffers from paranoia, anxiety attacks and perception disorder, Majalengka police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Mariyono said.

He often hallucinated and felt he was being followed or watched by someone, he added. Anshor’s condition was revealed following psychological assessments conducted by a psychological team of the National Police and West Java police.

“The indication is that he suffers from mental health. We need to have experts examine him further,” he said on Friday as reported by kompas.com.

Mariyono explained that on the bus, Anshor felt the driver was answering a phone call from someone discussing a murder plan against him.

This allegedly prompted him to attack the driver and stop the bus by jumping and sitting on him while trying to stop the bus from moving. It was reported earlier that Anshor allegedly tried to snatch the mobile phone from the driver.

Anshor was sitting on the left side of the bus in the front row behind the driver’s assistant in the intercity Safari bus heading to Cirebon. When the bus driver was driving, he was holding a mobile phone in his left hand.

As the bus was moving, the suspect, who works as a security guard in Jakarta, was said to hear the driver saying “I’m going to kill you” in Javanese.

“Anshor suddenly attacked the driver by trying to take over the wheel,” Mariyono said, adding that Anshor’s right leg directly got in between the driver’s legs to hit the break.

As the driver was panicked, he kept the bus moving while the two were fighting over the wheel. The driver’s assistant tried to break the two apart by holding Anshor’s shoulder.

The alleged altercation led to the driver losing control of the bus. The bus went over the road separator and hit three vehicles coming from the opposite direction.

As many as 12 people died, including passengers of the bus and of the three vehicles. The bus driver also died in the incident while Anshor survived. The accident, which took place at kilometer 150 of the toll road on Monday, also left 43 people injured.

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