Image by lindseymclarke
Modzelewski boarded the 36 at Harrow Road then sat all the way to the bus depot in New Cross. That’s a long journey even when a Tube strike hasn’t tossed bus travel into chaos. He started his journey around 12.30am and went to the top deck. CCTV footage shows him slumping forward a few moments after taking his seat. Then an hour later the bus arrived at the depot where Modzelewski remained in his seat where the driver found him and failed to rouse him from what he thought was a deep sleep. He had died of an overdose of drinks and drugs, still grasping a wrap of heroin in his hand when he was eventually discovered, but to the driver, understandably keen to go home, he was just out of it.
The driver ‘forgot’ to tell anyone at the bus garage about him
The cleaners didn’t come
The engineers checked the bus before it was due to start on the 171 route but didn’t look upstairs
It wasn’t until a passenger on the 7am bus decided to rouse the ‘sleeping’ man that the alarm was raised and Modzelewski was removed. It may not have made any difference to his situation if he had been discovered earlier by the people who should have been doing their jobs, but it’s still a grim end to an already grim ending. And whatever our position on the atheist and drug buses we can only hope insult wasn’t added to this sad, lonely, neglected death by either of those being the vehicle that was his resting place.