When Krishna Rai Chowdhury left her home in the morning she hardly knew this would be her last walk.
Her left leg had to be amputated below the knee in the evening after a bus had hit her at Dhaka’s Bangla Motor intersection.
The 55-year-old mother of two may now forever have to walk using crutches because a bus driver decided to floor the gas pedal because the road was empty.
Krishna works as an assistant manager at the Bangladesh Inland Water Transportation Corporation (BIWTC). Around 2pm on Tuesday, she was walking to a nearby bank when a speeding bus of Trust Transport Service lost control, drove onto the sidewalk, and hit her.
The driver and his assistant fled the scene immediately. Two youths rescued Krishna and took her to the nearby Holy Family Hospital in a critical condition.
One of her rescuers, Md Emran Hossain Khan, said: “I saw the bus hitting her. After that I saw her sitting by the road, holding her leg and moaning in pain.”
As her situation started to deteriorate, she was sent to the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (Nitor) after primary treatment.
Speaking to The Business Standard, BIWTC Chief Medical Officer Dr Khandaker Masum Hasan said: “There is a 90 percent chance her leg cannot be saved, but we will try our best. However, our key priority is to save the patient’s life.”
Asked whether Krishna’s leg should be amputated, her son Kaushik Chowdhury, said: “My mother was completely fine when she left home in the morning. And now I have to make the most difficult decision of my life – whether to amputate her leg or not.”
After taking consent from Krishna's husband Radheshyam Chowdhury and her son, doctors at Nitor later amputated her left leg. After the operation, she was taken to the National Institute of Neurosciences for a CAT scan to check for head injuries.
Upon finding none, she was taken back to Nitor.
This grim reality is nothing new, though.
In April last year, Rajib Hossain, a third-year student of Government Titumir College, lost his hand after it got stuck between two speeding buses trying to overtake each other at Bangla Motor. Rajib later died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital on April 17 after two weeks in coma.
Later on April 20, a young woman also lost a leg after being hit by a bus in the capital’s Banani. On April 28, another man lost his leg after being hit by a bus on the Mayor Mohammad Hanif flyover in Jatrabari, Dhaka.
A few months later, the deaths of two high-school students in Dhaka’s Airport Road after being struck by a bus racing to collect passengers sparked the road safety movement. This led to countrywide protests, prompting the government to approve the draft of the Road Transport Act 2018.
The result of this has so far been absolutely nothing, as the law has not come into force yet, and reckless drivers are continuing to destroy the lives of unfortunate pedestrians like Krishna.