Alawwa police arrested the crew of another private bus, carrying over 100 passengers, which tried to zigzag through the Yangal Oya railway level crossing on Thursday (28), where, only the previous day, 37 passengers died when a bus was rammed by the intercity express train
Police produced the errant driver and the conductor of the second bus before the Thulhiriya Magistrate S. U. B. Karalliyedda. The driver, who was charged with negligent driving, risking the lives of the passengers and breaking traffic laws, was remanded.
The conductor of the bus, who did not possess a conductor?s licence, was also produced before court. He was released on cash bail of Rs.1,500. The driver Chaminda Jayashantha was taken to the Kegalle Remand Prison. The bus which was coming from Trincomalee on its way to Colombo had zigzag crossed the Yangal Modera level crossing around 9.20 a.m. on Thursday (28).
Police investigations have revealed that the driver steered the bus through the closed level crossing while the panic stricken passengers shouted out asking him not to cross do so, but he had not heeded their warnings.
However, one of the passengers had contacted the SSP Kurunegala over his mobile telephone and the OIC of the Alawwa police station Inspector Sujith Wedamulla was informed by the SSP?s office about the incident.
Police stopped the bus as it was passing the police station and arrested the driver who had then denied the charge of driving through the closed level crossing. However, by that time, the police had received a number of complaints against the driver over his reckless driving.
IGP Chandra Fernando has directed all police stations to take all drivers who drove through closed level crossings and prosecute them in court.