WEEHAWKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Two NJ TRANSIT buses headed to the Port Authority Bus Terminal collided in the Lincoln Tunnel, injuring at least 44 people.
The accident happened around 8:40 a.m. Monday in the center tube. NJ TRANSIT spokeswoman Lisa Torbic said a 127 Line bus headed from Ridgefield rear-ended a 128 Line bus out of Fairview.
Officials said the driver of the first bus suddenly switched lanes and the other bus couldn’t stop in time. Summonses were issued for making an improper lane change, an unsafe lane change and careless driving.
“The bus changed lanes in front of our bus [which was] behind him, and then our bus driver couldn’t stop because he didn’t have enough time. So he was going about 35 or 40 [mph] and rear-ended the other bus,” a passenger on the 127 Line bus told CBS2’s Steve Langford.
“Somebody kinda said something like ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa!'”, another passenger told Langford.
Port Authority Police spokesman Joe Pentangelo said the door on one bus had to be cut open.
“It was terrifying. It was literately a nightmare that I have,” another passenger told Langford. “We were in the second row so watching your bus crash into another bus, there was blood everywhere.”
The FDNY said out of the total 44 injuries, 41 are minor and three are more serious.
“The most significant injuries were a broken jaw, a broken arm, and one of the passengers had a preexisting brain injury, which resulted in a seizure,” said Port Authority Police Superintendent Michael Fedorko.
“It was terrifying. It was literally a nightmare that I have,” said passenger Emily Sorokes of Weehawken. She was seated in the second row of the rear bus and escaped injury. Sorokes tried to help her fellow passengers, Langford reported.
“I took my gym shirt out of my bag to give to someone who as bleeding so much,” Sorokes said.
Motorists heading into New York were facing delays of more than one hour for a time Monday morning.
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The words “Stay In Lane” are printed in big letters on the pavement in the tunnel, Langford reported.
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