8 hurt when MTA bus drives off Bronx overpass, hangs off edge: police

Bronx
MTA bus drives off Bronx overpass

An MTA bus lost control and drove off an overpass on University Avenue in the Bronx, leaving the bus dangling over the Cross Bronx Expressway Thursday night, Jan. 14, 2021, according to authorities.

HIGHBRIDGE, the Bronx — At least eight people were hurt when an MTA bus drove off a Bronx overpass after the driver lost control Thursday night, according to police.

The FDNY said the call came in just before 11:10 p.m. for reports of a bus accident.

Officials said the bus driver missed the on-ramp and instead crashed into the guard rail when attempting to turn from University Avenue onto the Cross Bronx Expressway.

The bus became partly suspended off the overpass and onto the street 50 feet below. Video showed the front of the bus was resting on the roadway below.

Passengers on board were thrown to the front of the articulated, accordion-like bus, its joint cables preventing it from going completely over the edge and crashing to the ground.

Eight people were injured and taken to area hospitals, including the driver, officials said. The NYPD said each of the injured suffered minor injuries.

The driver, who sustained a jaw injury, managed to get out of the bus and help pull passengers to safety before first responders arrived, officials said.

Nearly seven hours later, around 6 a.m., crews successfully pulled the bus back up and onto the overpass.

The MTA released a statement early Friday morning:

The MTA’s goal is to have the safest transportation system in the nation, and when an incident like this occurs we take it very seriously. We are conducting a full investigation and will implement lessons learned in order to prevent it from happening again. We are certain this was a terrifying incident for those customers on the bus. Our hearts go out to them with hope that they can recover quickly.

Officials said the incident was a single-vehicle crash, and an investigation is under way as to whether it was a result of operator error or an equipment malfunction.

The MTA said Friday that speed appeared to be a factor in the crash. The driver, according to officials, should have been going about 3 to 4 mph around the turn, bus data shows the bus was traveling between 17 and 26 mph.

The bus driver did take and pass a breathalyzer test at the scene, but refused to take an MTA mandated drug and alcohol test at the hospital, the agency said.

The bus was inspected for safety on Wednesday, the MTA said, and had no mechanical issues.

“This is obviously a terrible tragedy and our heart goes out to the passengers on the bus and their families who had to go through this,” said Patrick Warren, MTA chief safety and security officer. “We will continue to provide any support we can to them. I want to thank the NYPD and FDNY for their swift action in this case; we will continue to investigate this incident fully to ensure this does not happen again.”

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