Commuter takes the wheel after bus driver runs off while passengers robbed at gunpoint
Cape Town - A Golden Arrow Bus (Gabs) commuter who took the wheel and drove fellow passengers to safety after a robbery has been hailed as a hero for his bravery.
Ashley Europa “saved the day” after a panicked bus driver ran off while passengers were being robbed at gunpoint by three men last week.
After the robbery Europa drove the passengers to their respective stops and returned the bus to Golden Arrow.
Working as a cleaner for a company at the V&A Waterfront, the 24-year-old said he didn’t worry about himself, but was instead concerned for the other passengers.
“It was about 6/7pm when the bus drove from Cape Town via Hanover Park. These guys were in the bus the whole time but no-one knew they were going to rob us. They just started robbing people on the bus. They took money from people. I was the first one who got robbed,” he said.
The father of one said he got into the driver's seat with the intention of getting everyone home safely.
“I lied to the people and I said ‘since I was 13 I know how to drive a bus’, but that was just to make them comfortable. I have never driven a bus before, it was the first time. I took everyone to their stops and I drove over to Spine Road to bring the bus back because I live on this side. I couldn't run in that situation because I didn’t know the place there, I don’t live there.
“We were a lot of people, almost 20 to 30. There was an elderly lady in front. What was I to do in the situation? I wanted to go home, they wanted to get home and the driver was gone,” he said.
The breadwinner at home, Europa said he wished Golden Arrow could give him a job “and I wish they could replace my stuff that was taken because I am the only one who works here at my house.”
His proud mother, Francis Europa said her son was brave for putting others before himself.
Gabs spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer said a case was registered with the police at Mitchells Plain police station.
“Golden Arrow can confirm that a robbery took place on board one of our buses on Tuesday night at about 19.50pm on Govan Mbeki, Crossroads and that a passenger subsequently drove the bus to the Town Centre terminus,” she said.
“At this stage an investigation is underway into exactly what transpired and what action should be taken. This is an unprecedented situation and a number of factors have to be taken into consideration. Passengers should not under any circumstances, no matter how well-intentioned, attempt to drive a bus,” Dyke-Beyer said.