My son, My Life Saving Jeep and Me
Me and My 1952 Jeep Life Saver!
I am describing an old incident, which had happened on Christmas eve of 1987.
I had gone to drop one of my friends at his farm in another state in my Jeep. My Jeep was old one. I purchased it from a broker at a very cheap price. The cost of that Jeep was less than 1% of my present Mahindra Bolero.
The body of that old Jeep was reconstructed with local parts by the previous owner. I was not sure whether it was a local one or an American Jeep. It was the one with left hand drive. In India we usually use right hand driven vehicles.
As there was no other option in that time I purchased that one. At that time I was not aware about the advantages or disadvantages of each features of this Jeep. It was a petrol driven four wheel drive one.
When I started my Jeep from my home my son requested to accompany me. I had agreed to avoid my loneliness while returning from my friend's farm apart from my idea of teaching him the driving. Both of us wanted to reach home at the earliest as it was Christmas eve.
I was driving through the high range road of the eastern part of Kerala State of India. The road was full of curves and turnings. The road passes through steep hills. On one side of the road is a big gorge. It was excessively dangerous in some parts. Still I was driving in a good speed.
We reached the steep down road. Then we saw one bus in front of us. My
son asked me "How much time do you require to overtake that bus?" When we reached more close to that bus we heard sounds made by the travelers. We thought they were shouting due to happiness. But within a short time we understood that they were screaming to save them.
On hearing their screaming a few persons had tried to put some obstructions on the road in vain to try and stop it. My son encouraged me to save them. I tried my best to overtake the run-away bus in that narrow road. At a critical point I succeeded.
Then I slowed my Jeep to stop the bus. The bus slowly hit the Jeep. I applied the full brakes, but I failed to stop the bus. So I took a leap and put the front drive lever and drove in the lowest gear.
Again the bus hit us. But this time we won. The speed of the bus reduced drastically. Within a span of 150 meters we stopped the bus.
The front wheel of our Jeep was on the brim of the curve in the road. Thirty-one travelers and both of the staff came out safely and hugged us for saving their lives.
The credit mostly goes to my son. His encouragement and strong belief in his big Dad saved them.
The incident I described was original and true without any add on. That is why I gave the correct date also. I will never forget that date. It was big news at that time.Larry's Comment: Great story George. You are indeed a hero, and I'm sure your son is very proud.