A dramatic crash involving a city bus that injured five people at the end of May was back in the public eye recently after the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) released on-board video of the crash showing the effects as the bus was struck by an SUV and sent careening into a nearby building.
The crash, which happened on May 26 at the intersection of Dexter Avenue and Doris Street, put the driver of the SUV and the bus driver in the hospital in critical condition. Three passengers on the bus were also hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. A third vehicle took significant damage with no injuries reported.
Judging by the violence of the crash, it’s lucky that the bus was nearly empty. Otherwise, the number of injuries could have been much higher.
Serious Damage Done
The DDOT video, which shows the crash from multiple angles, clearly shows the SUV speed through a stop sign to strike the bus. The impact knocked the bus driver from his seat, leaving the bus to continue out of control for about 50 yards, pushing the smashed SUV with it until the bus crashed through a brick wall at Sun Valley Foods.
The SUV and bus were still moving with enough force for the SUV to snap a utility pole and the bus to go almost completely through the wall into a loading dock area behind it. No one in the building was injured.
SUV Seems to Be at Fault
The current status of the injured drivers hasn’t been made public. The driver of the SUV is known to be an 18-year-old man, and it hasn’t been revealed what, if anything, he’s been charged with.
At the time of the crash, police suggested that he had been speeding and disregarded a stop sign, although supporters of the driver claimed he could not have caused the crash. The newly released video provides strong evidence for the police version of events.
Bad Week for the DDOT
Just two days before this crash, another city bus was involved in a similar crash. On June 24, a cab ran a red light and struck a bus on East Nevada, injuring both drivers and eight bus passengers. None of the injuries were life-threatening.
The Burden of Bus Accidents
Bus accidents are generally less frequent than car crashes, but they still happen. It’s difficult to track exactly how many bus crashes happen in Detroit because the state lumps them in with heavy truck accidents, and there are quite a few of those.
Last year, there were more than 2,600 total truck and bus crashes in Wayne County, which caused several hundred injuries and thirteen deaths. Most years, there are several serious accidents involving DDOT buses.