Thirteen people were hospitalized after an MTA bus driver lost control of the vehicle Monday evening and slammed into parked cars on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, according to reports.
Firefighters responded to East 85th St. and Madison Ave. after getting reports of a BxM18 bus crash around 7:45 p.m. According to witnesses, the driver of the bus coughed and then went unconscious, slumping over the wheel as the bus hit car after car for blocks.
Guy Praisler, a passenger sitting in the fifth row, jumped out of his seat and ran to the wheel. Although he had never driven a bus before, he was able to bring the vehicle to a stop.
Early reports place about 20 passengers on board. More than a dozen were injured – some of them seriously. At about the time the bus finally came to a halt, the stunned driver regained consciousness. Witnesses described him as being disoriented and shocked.
The front of the bus where the doors are was partially crushed, and first responders had to use the jaws of life to open the doors so people could get off.
The bus is an express coach the MTA runs up Madison Ave to the Riverdale section of the Bronx, their investigators are on scene tonight piecing together what happened.
Since it is an express bus, many of the passengers take it at the same time during the week and know the driver. Those riders described him as a kind person.