BUSHWICK, Brooklyn — A runaway MTA bus that traveled at least three blocks and crashed into a church left a man hospitalized and damaged several cars in its path in Brooklyn, the MTA said Wednesday.
The trail of destruction left by the MTA bus will cost thousands of dollars in repairs and now bills for the victim's family.
It happened at about 12:45 a.m. when an MTA driver operating an empty Q58 bus parked on Myrtle Avenue and failed to secure the parking brake, according to the MTA. Suddenly, the bus began to roll down Palmetto Street, gaining speed as it traveled for over three blocks, striking at least six vehicles and a 27-year-old man changing a headlight in his driveway.
Witnesses said the impact threw the man against a fence and onto a sidewalk.
In the meantime, the bus kept going with the driver running after it before the crash course ended at a church on Knickerbocker Avenue.
PIX11 obtained video of the bus rolling backward before hitting a few cars on its way.
The person hit was Nicholas Rivera, 27. His injuries don't appear to be serious. His mother and brother spoke to PIX11 exclusively, saying Rivera was changing a headlight on their car so his mother wouldn't get a ticket when she drove it to the airport in the morning.
Eric Rivera said, fortunately, his brother spotted the bus rolling toward him.
"He was doing a favor changing the lights for her," Rivera said. "We look up and see the bus flying my brother saw it at last-minute and at least he's OK."
Mayra Rosaio, his mother, said it could've been much worse.
"Thank God he's fine," Rosario said. "We've had a tough time with buses. If this was yesterday, we have a school here and kids with their phones. It would've been a lot worse."
Police said the driver is not in custody and the MTA is investigation the incident.