NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Passengers who were aboard an MTA bus that plunged off the road and over the edge of an overpass in the Bronx are telling their stories.

Eight people were hurt and the bus was left dangling over the Cross Bronx Expressway for hours.

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CBS2’s Cory James spoke with passengers and got their exclusive accounts of what happened on board.

Sounds of panic still ring in Mery Alba’s ears. She was on the bus with her boyfriend and their dog when it crashed around 11 p.m. on Jan. 14. The crash dropped the couple 50 feet, threw them from their seats and left them in fear.

Alba, who now has a cut on her leg, said her boyfriend screamed asking if she was OK. Other passengers were on top of her, and she couldn’t move.

Santiago Pascual was brought to tears telling CBS2 he briefly lost consciousness and thought he was going to die. Pascual said his entire body is sore.

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Jose Luis Brito, who suffered bruises to his mouth and thigh, felt the same way. But he said everyone got out on their own.

“After the impact, windows were broken, so we were able to get out, but I couldn’t walk that well because I was hurting,” Brito said through a translator.

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The passengers are thankful to be alive.

The MTA said the bus driver, 55, has been on the job for 11 years with a clean record.

He was trying to turn left onto a ramp at 178th Street and Broadway, according to the MTA. But officials told CBS2 he was speeding, traveling 17 to 26 mph instead of slowing down to three or four mph.

According to the MTA, the driver passed a breathalyzer test at the scene, however he refused a mandatory drug/alcohol test at the hospital.

“Which is extremely rare for someone not to agree to cooperate with it and obviously extremely troubling,” said Sarah Feinberg, interim NYC Transit president.

“While the investigation is ongoing, speed is clearly a factor and is obviously of great concern to us,” said MTA Chief Safety and Security Officer Patrick Warren.

The bus driver was hospitalized with a broken jaw.

MTA officials said the bus has outward and inward facing cameras, plus a black box recorder and GPS. Those are all now part of the investigation.

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Cory James