A NJ Transit driver fell asleep behind the wheel Monday morning, causing a crash that nearly cost 50 bus passengers their lives, NBC 4 New York has learned exclusively.
Several passengers on board the 166-X bus from Englewood to Port Authority tell NBC 4 New York the driver nodded off and lost control of the bus, swerving into the guardrail and nearly falling off an overpass that runs above I-495.
Lila Noble, who was sitting toward the front of the bus, said she suddenly heard “clang, bang, boom.”
“I looked up from my email and I saw that we were almost off the guardrail,” she said.
The driver pulled over, but only after the riders demanded he do so, passengers told NBC 4 New York.
“He said, ‘Stay on, we can go,'” said Noble. “Nobody wanted any part of that.”
Another bus picked up the passengers and continued the route. No one was hurt.
Several passengers filed complaints about the driver and the crash, but they said they haven’t received a response to the incident.
New Jersey Transit Spokesperson John Durso said in a statement, “The bus operator was immediately taken out of service as NJ Transit conducts a full, comprehensive investigation.”
That’s only some relief to those passengers who are now second-guessing their commute.
“It needs to be addressed why inexperienced drivers are operating buses with 50 peoples lives in their hands,” said Noble.
Source: NBC 4 NY