A regular evening commute took a scary turn for Ariff Yusoff’s family last week, when his car suffered a punctured tyre while he was driving along the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) towards Jurong.
In a Facebook post, Ariff explained that he was on the expressway on Mar 5, when he found himself unable to swerve in time to avoid a block of wood that lay in the middle lane.
Describing the heart-stopping moment, he wrote: “What happened next, my right tyre burst, (it) was really a shocking moment, everyone in the car shouted and we even saw sparks from the front view.”
His wife and sister were with him in the car. Thankfully, the evening traffic had eased by then, and Ariff was able to filter to the left side of the road without incident. Although shaken, and with his hands “shivering”, Ariff was able to call his brother-in-law and some friends for help.
Upon hearing that Ariff was in trouble, they came almost immediately to his aid – a fact that he was deeply grateful for. Together, they worked to warn other motorists and marshall the traffic around them, while also changing the car tyre.
But what truly surprised him was that for one truck driver, it didn’t matter that Ariff was just another stranger on the roads.
Ariff wrote: “From far away, I saw a prime mover truck signalling left to the road shoulder and the driver stops and parks a few metres away from our last car. His truck covered almost half the lane, and he turned on his yellow blinkers and hazard light.”
The driver, whom Ariff addressed as abang (Malay for brother) in his post, had stopped to check on them. It turned out that he had driven past them earlier as they were changing the tyres, and had specially made a u-turn to offer his assistance.
According to Ariff, the driver said to him: “Since you don’t need my help with the tyre, I will do the traffic control… and block the lane with my truck for your safety. My blinkers can also alert oncoming cars from afar to slow down and change lanes.”
Speaking to The Pride, Ariff, 33 said: “I’d never heard of anything like that before. It’s rare for a driver who had already exited the expressway to specially come back to the scene to help someone out.”
Touched by his kindness, the managing director of an interior design company thanked him on the scene, but forgot to ask for his name as they were told to move off from the road shoulder by an auxiliary officer.
Hoping to be reconnected with the driver, Ariff asked other Facebook users for help to identify him. He wrote: “We need more people like this on the road… It would be great if you guys can share this post, in shaa allah I can meet abang personally again.”
Happily, Ariff has updated The Pride to say that he has found the abang driver. The pair are making plans to meet up this weekend, and Ariff is looking forward to being able to express his appreciation in person.
He says: “I’m planning to treat him and his whole family to dinner, and so that I can talk to him in person.”