NYC bus driver passes out, crashes into cars
NEW YORK (NBC) -- An MTA bus crashed into several parked cars on Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side when the driver passed out behind the wheel, officials and witnesses said. Witnesses said the bus driver was slumped over the wheel when the bus slammed into vehicles along the avenue.
The Riverdale-bound bus slammed into the cars between 85th and 86th streets at about 7:45 p.m., officials said. Passengers told NBC 4 New York the bus driver passed out behind the wheel and the bus sped up on Madison as it hit the parked cars.
"I hear the woman next to me scream," said passenger Leslie Batista. "The bus driver is passed out, and the bus is going faster. His foot must have been pressed on the gas."
One of the passengers, a daily commuter, jumped in to stop the bus.
"I grabbed the wheel as soon as we started to hit cars," said Guy Praisner, who ran from his fifth-row seat to take control. "I just jumped on the wheel and grabbed the wheel. I was trying to figure out how to stop the bus."
"I thank God we were not on a bridge, or on the highway," said Batista.
Five people were taken to the hospital with injuries, two serious and three minor. An additional 15 people were treated at the scene or refused medical attention, officials said.
Officials said the unidentified driver has been on the job for over 30 years.
Regular riders said the driver is "one of the most friendly" they know and described him appearing "shocked" when he regained consciousness and help arrived.
Investigation is ongoing.