A bus, carrying 45 passengers from Java, caused an 11-vehicle pile-up on the Denpasar-Singaraja highway, in Tabanan on Saturday 18th June. The collision caused multiple serious injuries to dozens of drivers and passengers, including five international tourists. The incident also killed a 30-year-old Balinese mother of three.
The accident happened on Kuningan Day, the final day of the Balinese Galungan festival which celebrates the victory of dharma over adharma, good over evil. The bus driver lost control of his vehicle around 11.30 pm as the community of Baturiti Village were between Kuningan ceremonies.
The Chief of Tabanan Police, AKBP Ranefli Dian Candra, released a statement on Monday to confirm the weekend’s events. He said that the driver of the privately hired JetBus coach has been named 38-year-old Agus Supriyanto from Sidoarjo in East Java.
The driver was transporting 45 passengers; students, and teachers from SMP Laboratory School in Surabaya, Java who were on a school field trip to Ulun Danu Beratan Temple and other historical and cultural sites in Gianyar Regency.
An investigation has been launched and police have shared that they suspect the brakes of the bus failed, which caused the vehicle to drive into oncoming cars and mopeds, resulting in the 11-vehicle collision. There were seven cars, three mopeds, a bus, and a pedestrian involved in the incident and eight people were taken to hospital, including the international tourists.
Agus Supriyanto has been detained by police pending further inquiry. He has been arrested and charged with Article 310 of the Indonesian Road Traffic and Transportation law for causing a fatal accident. If found guilty he faces up to 6-years in prison. If the initial suspicions that the brakes failed are true, Supriyanto’s punishment may be reduced.
Those who were injured were transported to nearby Tabanan Hospital and Semara Ratih Hospital. The international tourists have not been named, three are from the UK, one is from the USA and the other is Australian. All the students aboard the bus escaped without injury.
The fatality has been named as 30-year-old Ni Wayan Wandani who was known amongst her community as Bu Octa. She is thought to have been walking along the sidewalk after a Kuningan ceremony at the local temple when the bus lost control. Reports suggest that she was walking with one of her daughters and her niece who narrowly managed to jump out of the way of the oncoming bus.
She died on the scene and her family and community are now preparing for her funeral ceremony. She leaves behind her husband, Nyoman Sukadana, and three young daughters. Her family is said to be in a state of devastation and shock. Representatives from the local Banjar (village government) told reporters that Bu Octa’s funeral is set to take place at 3 pm on Monday.
Residents and tourists are being encouraged to prioritize road safety, to drive slower and with more caution across Bali. On Sunday 12th June a young couple from the UK on holiday in Bali ended up in intensive care after a collision with an oncoming car on Jalan Raya Peliatan in Kerobokan.
Road and vehicle safety has been a topic of intense conversation by authorities in Bali in recent weeks. Police in Canggu has announced that five foreigners have died on roads in the area in the last six months. They have placed public awareness campaign banners around Canggu reminding drivers to not drink and drive and wear a helmet when driving motorbikes and scooters.
Last week the Head of the Buleleng Police, AKBP Andrian Pramudianto released a statement to announce that smoking while driving has been made illegal in Bali in a bid to improve road safety.
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