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A hero bus driver whose split-second swerve saved a woman shoved into the path of his double-decker deserves a medal, his colleagues said today.
The driver’s lightning reflexes saved the 33-year-old pedestrian’s life “without a shadow of doubt” according to experienced co-workers.
Scotland Yard today said the net was closing in on the middle-aged jogger who shoved her off the pavement and sent her sprawling into the road on Putney Bridge.
A huge public response to footage of the incident has led to a series of “viable leads”.
Detectives are also using enthusiasts’ website Strava, which records runners’ routes and times, to trace other potential witnesses.
The Standard understands the driver has worked on buses for a decade.
He was travelling at around 12mph when he saw the incident and pulled into the middle of the road, bringing the bus to a halt inches from the woman’s head.
A colleague at Putney bus garage said today: “He’s a hero and deserves a medal for saving that poor woman’s life.
“We’re used to having to dodge cyclists but to have to witness a woman being pushed in front of your bus is scary – he’s definitely a hero.”
The incident happened as the Go Ahead London 430 service, from Roehampton to South Kensington, crossed Putney Bridge at 7.40am on May 5.
The driver immediately returned to work and is said to be stunned by the outpouring of praise following the release of CCTV almost three months later.
His co-worker, who has 20 years’ experience, said: “It’s horrific to think what could have happened if the driver wasn’t able to act as quick as he did, or if he’d been checking mirrors at that moment.
“To have the precision to also avoid all the other cars, people and other traffic should be commended.
“These situations are where our training and experience are put to the test, that’s why he managed to act so quickly.”
The jogger ran back across the bridge 15 minutes later, ignoring the victim’s pleas to stop as he sprinted towards Fulham, where he is believed to live.
He is white, in his mid-30s with brown eyes and short brown hair. He was wearing a light grey T-shirt and dark blue shorts.
Witnesses are asked to call 020 8785 8874 or tweet @MetCC
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