Passengers race to stop speeding bus

ADRIAN LOWE
Last updated 13:43 30/01/2013

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An evening bus trip turned into a nightmare for several New York commuters when their driver fainted at the wheel.

The bus, bound for the Bronx, sailed through Madison Avenue intersections, leaving passengers feeling helpless.

One of 18 people on board ran to the front to help avert impending disaster.

"I just grabbed the wheel," Guy Praisler told the New York Daily News. "I tried to lean him back and steer a little bit. I pushed his leg to the side and was able to bring us to a stop."

Another went to help the driver, identified by the Daily News as 30-year bus driving veteran Kevin Prendergast, aged 61.

"He passed out ... I was sitting at the back of the bus," the unidentified witness told WABC-TV. "We didn't realise what was happening at first, but the ride became very jerky and unstable.

"I dropped all my stuff [and] ran up front. I pulled him away from the wheel. Another gentleman started steering the bus ... we mowed down a bunch of stuff."

Another said "it was lucky we had lots of green lights".

"It felt like we flew through about seven intersections. I think we hit lots of cars and taxis, hopefully no people," she said.

When one of the men who ran to the front of the bus shook the driver, he woke up and slammed on the brakes.

Five people, including some passengers and the occupants of a car hit by the bus, were taken to hospital. Another 20 people were treated at the scene.

Police investigations are continuing.

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- The Age

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