'It felt like a scene from James Bond' says Alfred Throop who steered runaway bus
Heroic pensioner Alfred Throop prevented a serious accident when he grabbed the wheel of an out-of-control bus seconds after the driver passed out.
The 67-year-old was on the number 58 Arriva bus in Hastings Road, Northfields, when it began to swerve uncontrollably.
The granddad, from Humberstone, had already started to make his way to the front of the vehicle after pressing the bell for his stop.
Realising the driver was unconscious and noticing the danger of nearby pedestrians and cars, he grabbed the wheel and steered the vehicle to the side of the road, where the bus collided with metal railings.
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Alfred said: "I noticed he was going left and right and weaving onto the other side of the road, so I went to ask the driver if he was okay and saw he'd blacked out.
"Then he hit a van. I was looking around at cars and people and panicking. I can't really remember what I was thinking – I just thought I'd better get the bus out of the road quickly, so I grabbed the wheel and steered it to the kerb away from the people."
Alfred, who has not driven for 12 years, let go of the wheel at the last minute as the kerb approached and dived away from the windscreen, and held on.
The vehicle stopped when it collided with metal railings at a pedestrian crossing.
The impact severely damaged the front of the bus and injured two of the six passengers onboard, one of whom was taken to hospital.
"It felt like a scene from James Bond," said Alfred, a retired gardener and hospital porter.
The incident happened at about 1.30pm on Thursday, as Alfred was travelling on the bus after his regular visit to Age UK, in Humberstone Gate, for his lunch.
"I've been a bit shaken since, but I'm slowly coming round," he added.
He said he did not know how fast the bus had been going when it crashed, but added it that it had slowed down quite a bit from its original speed.
Police confirmed that the driver was "taken ill at the wheel" and that two people were injured in the collision.
A spokeswoman said: "Thanks to Mr Throop's brave actions, he managed to prevent further damage and any serious injury to members of the public."
Alfred's daughter Vicki said: "He told me that he tried to wake the bus driver and find the brake, but he couldn't, so he took control of the wheel and steered it away from pedestrians and into a fence.
"He had hold of the wheel until the last minute before diving away from the front of the bus in order to prevent him getting thrown through the front window. It was very brave of him.
"He's been in a bit of shock since, but I think he's done a very admirable thing and deserves to be recognised for it.
"I'm very proud of him."
His wife Sylvia, 72, said: "He did a wonderful job, but he's like that. If he sees someone needing help when we're out, he always stops to lend a hand."
No one at Arriva was available for comment yesterday.