6 months ago, this happened.
Back in May on a tyical Friday afternoon I left work early. Rode my usual buses to the University District to make my way home. I hopped onto bus 43 at it’s first stop. I boarded, swiped my bus pass, said hi to the driver, and sat down in a seat in the middle of the bus. A few minutes later the bus departed for its second stop on the route. I checked email on my phone like I normally do.
The bus stopped at the second stop. Four people boarded including a lady in a wheelchair, which took a little longer since the bus driver has to use the lift. He strapped her in with the seat belts to secure the wheelchair. The bus waited at the red light for a few seconds before it turned green. We were off…
Just as the bus was almost through the intersection a stolen SUV (which I did not know at the time) slams into the left side of the bus, just below the bus driver’s seat.
I feel the push of whatever it was (at the time I had no idea what happened). I say, “Oh shit!” I then look right to see a police officer running down the street. I still have no idea what’s going on.
I ask if everyone is ok. Two passengers look at me with blank stares. I could see they were ok, because they were standing and starting to dial numbers on their phones. The lady in the wheelchair slumped over with head almost touching the floor. I lift her back into her wheelchair so that she is sitting upright. She complained of hip pain. I run up to the driver and ask if he is ok. He says, “I just need a little time to relax.” I ask the other passenger of they are ok. A passenger tells me they hit their head. I can see the mark of their makeup where their head hit the metal box behind the driver. I go to the lady in the wheelchair. I feel helpless as I can’t really do anything else than comfort her and tell her it will be alright. She asks me if I can call someone for her. I pick her iPhone off the floor and find the person she wants me to call for her. I hold the phone up to her ear so she can talk to them. The phone rang a few times after, each time I held the phone to her ear so she could talk to them. During this time police and paramedics boarded the bus. They asked for everyone’s information.
The paramedics first removed the bus driver from the bus on a backboard, then the the person with the head injury and last the lady in the wheelchair. They had to lift the lady out of her wheelchair to get her off the bus. The wheelchair was broken, taking her with the wheelchair was not an option. As they were taking her off the bus her phone rang. The caller asked where they were taking her. I asked the paramedics and relayed the information to the caller. I hung up, handed the phone to the paramedics and walked off the bus. I caught another bus home. A short time later I was contact by the TV station.
It was a surreal day.
I could not upload the video to my blog. Here is a link to the KIRO interview. Police chase ends in busy U-District intersection crash