Fire officials say an MTA bus driver and four other people were hospitalized with serious or minor injuries after the driver blacked out and crashed into several parked cars on the Upper East Side on Monday night.
A BxM18 bus carrying 18 passengers and the driver was traveling about 30 mph when it crashed on Madison Avenue near East 80th Street right before 7 p.m.
Passengers said they heard the driver cough right before the bus went out of control.
One of the passengers, Guy Praisler, told NY1 he helped stop the bus immediately after the crash.
"I just jumped at the wheel and tried to stop the bus. I tried to squeeze my leg to hit the brake. I couldn't and then I realized he had his foot on the gas," Praisler said. "So I was able to move his foot away from the gas and the bus stayed in the second lane until it came to a stop."
Praisler said the driver then woke up and was completely disoriented.
The driver and other injured people were taken to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, according to fire officials.
Another 15 people were evaluated on the scene and were not hospitalized.
MTA officials say the driver has about three decades' experience on the job, but would not say late Monday whether he has been in previous accidents.
The incident was still under investigation late Monday.