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Bus passenger in coma after bumping his head

Date Posted: 2005-10-28

A bus running a regular route between Itoman and Naha slammed on its brakes Sunday, sending a passenger lurching to the floor.

The passenger struck his head on the floor, knocking him unconscious. The 35-year-old man has been diagnosed with a brain contusion; he remains in a coma. Itoman City police say the bus was traveling along Route 331 from Meiji Bridge to Yamashita Intersection when traffic suddenly stopped in front of the bus. The driver quickly stopped too. Fifteen passengers were aboard, but only the victim was standing. The driver saw the man fall through his rear view mirror, and immediately called for an ambulance.

Officials say they don’t know why the man fell, but suspect he did not have a grip on the strap available for standing passengers. Bus company officials say they always encourage passengers to sit, and when the seats are full, those standing should always “hold on tightly” to the leather straps hanging from the ceiling. They say such accidents have happened in the past, and in each case it was discovered the cause was inattentiveness on passengers’ part. In those cases, though, the injuries to passengers were not life threatening.

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