Driver suffers heart attack, woman home guard takes over wheel to save lives
Timely reaction by a 34-year-old woman home guard of the Ghaziabad Development Authority’s (GDA) mobile enforcement team averted a major mishap when the vehicle’s driver suffered a heart attack while driving a truck with 15 personnel on board.
According to GDA officials, the incident took place on September 9, when a team of GDA officials, including staff from the enforcement department, the police, as well as the home guard, had gone for a sealing drive to Akbarpur-Behrampur in Vijay Nagar.
The team was returning in a mini truck that is generally used for ferrying personnel.
“We had left after sealing buildings at Akbarpur-Behrampur around 2.15pm and our vehicle was on Somvar Bazaar Road. After about a couple of minutes, our driver Rishi Pal fell on the steering wheel and became unresponsive. The vehicle turned and started to move in a different direction. I could see an electricity pole right ahead of us and several children playing nearby,” Manju Upadhyaya, the woman home guard who was sitting next to the driver in the truck, said.
“I tried to shout a warning but realised that my voice would not reach the children. I immediately caught hold of the steering wheel, turned it, and pressed the brakes. The vehicle stopped with a jerk and I immediately turned off the ignition. Once the truck halted, other staff rushed to the driver’s cabin and pulled out the driver. He was rushed to a private hospital where he was declared dead on arrival,” she added.
Upadhyaya is from Meerut and currently posted to the police department with the GDA.
The police and home guards posted with the GDA help out authority officials during different drives, including removal of encroachments, demolitions, and sealing.
Upadhyaya has a post-graduate degree in sociology. She has been posted to different civil police stations in Ghaziabad.
GDA officials said that Upadhyaya’s timely response saved the lives of the staff as well as of the children who were playing near the road.
“Her presence of mind saved the lives of the staff and the others on the road and her action is commendable. Otherwise, there could have been a major mishap. The driver was taken to a hospital but he passed away. The doctors said that he died of a heart attack. We will take all possible measures to provide compensation to his family,” SK Rai, secretary of the authority, said.
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