THE BRONX (PIX11) — Whether it was helping passengers climb out through the windshield or just comforting them as they waited for help to arrive, NYC transit employees sprung into action when a school bus overturned in the Bronx last month, officials said.
The bus flipped onto its side on July 21 shortly before 6 a.m. while turning on northbound exit ramp 1A onto Bruckner Boulevard, authorities said.
NYCT Department of Buses employees David Baird and David Chen were on their way to work when they came across the accident. They pulled over to help and opened the emergency exit on the roof and the windows to assist passengers off the bus, according to the MTA. Baird grabbed the first-aid kit and treated folks with minor injuries. When the bandages ran out, he ran back to his car to get more supplies, officials said.
“I called 911,” said Chen, a general superintendent. “It was about 10 minutes before the police and first fire truck showed up. There was one lady who could not stand or lie down because she was in pain and I helped her sit upright and stayed with her until EMS arrived.”
“We got everybody off the bus,” said Baird, superintendent of maintenance. “I walked over and saw people around the bus screaming. They had opened one of the bus’s emergency hatches but were struggling to open the other one, so I helped open it and helped the people climb out. I was happy to be there to help.”
Baird and Chen were presented with certificates of commendation from NYCT Chief Operating Officer Craig Cipriano at the Zerega Bus Depot in the Bronx Wednesday.
Thirty-seven adults were evaluated for injuries after removing themselves from the bus prior to first responders’ arrival, according to the NYPD and FDNY. Thirty-three of those people had what the FDNY described as minor injuries, three were said to be in serious but stable condition, and the bus driver declined medical attention. No children were aboard the bus.