BUKIT MERTAJAM: Had he not been focusing on the road, Ahmad Safuan Ujar might have ended up as an accident victim in yesterday morning's horror crash in Penang.
Safuan, 34, was among the drivers who was spared from a fatal collision with a Proton Gen 2, driven by an intoxicated female driver along the North-South Expressway (NSE) near Permatang Pauh.
Recalling the horrific experience, Safuan, from Taman Pauh, said he was driving his child to a school in Bertam at the time.
Safuan, who was driving his pickup truck, said he was on the fast lane as the traffic from Seberang Jaya towards Kepala Batas wasn't heavy compared to traffic in the opposite direction during the morning rush hour.
"While manoeuvring a slight bend after descending from the Permatang Pauh flyover, I saw the car in front me suddenly swerve sharply to the left.
"I had the shock of my life when I saw that a Gen2 was barrelling directly at me at high speed. I immediately swerved to the left lane.
"I was extremely lucky to avoid the Gen 2 in the nick of time.
"I am grateful that I had 100 per cent focus on the road at the moment. If I was distracted by mere seconds, I would have not be able to avoid the car," Safuan told NST Online.
He managed to catch a glimpse of the car's occupant as it roared past and saw a female driver behind the wheel.
Shaken at the near-miss, Safuan said at the time he somehow had a hunch that a collision behind him would be unavoidable.
"I told myself that the cars travelling behind me at the Permatang Pauh flyover would have no chance to avoid colliding with the Gen 2 while going up the flyover," he said.
His instincts proved him right.
The Gen2 then collided with a Perodua Kelisa at KM 134 of the NSE, at the centre of the Permatang Pauh flyover in the 7.50am incident.
The crash killed the Perodua Kelisa driver Mohamad Fandi Rosli, 26. Several other people were injured.
Safuan said, after surviving the near-collision, he resumed his journey towards Kepala Batas and spotted a Perodua Alza at the NSE Sungai Dua toll plaza which had earlier collided with the Gen2.
"I saw a car's front bumper on the road and immediately thought that it had surely detached from the Gen2 after colliding with the Alza," he said.
After dropping off his child at a school in Bertam, Safuan returned to Permatang Pauh and could only watch helplessly as mangled vehicles dotted the scene of the crash.
"I am truly grateful for being spared from the fatal collision. But at the same time, I feel very sorry for the victim's family," he said.