NEW YORK — New video obtained by NY1 on Wednesday is raising questions about a bus crash in Brooklyn.
A B49 MTA bus smashed into a brownstone on Monday, injuring more than a dozen people.
Footage from inside the bus in the moments preceding the crash shows driver rearranging bags that were stashed at his feet. He is seen getting out of his seat in the middle of traffic on Bedford Avenue to, as one official said, change a route sign.
When he gets back in, he loses control, hits the vehicle ahead and swerves into oncoming traffic, sending him right into the building.
Sixteen people were injured and the bus left lodged in the brownstone.
“The video is disturbing on many levels, raising questions about whether basic safety rules were followed,” MTA spokesman Tim Minton said in a statement. “The incident remains under investigation and we will have more to say when that is complete.”
The union representing the bus driver said New Yorkers should not rush to judgment about what they see in the video or blame the driver completely, saying a “design flaw” could have contributed to the crash.
“The transit authority has a tendency to always blame the operator — blame, blame, blame. It’s not always that simple,” said J.P. Patafio, of TWU Local 100. “This operator didn’t wake up and have an accident like this. He’s been doing this for 13 years, no problems. He’s a great operator.”
Shortly after the crash, a top MTA bus official said there was no indication of a mechanical failure or defect, and that speed was not involved.
A source with decades of experience with MTA buses told NY1 after reviewing the video that it raised two big questions: Did the driver properly pull the emergency brake? And why did swerve to avoid the vehicle in front of him instead of stopping?
Last year, a bus in the Bronx careened over an overpass, almost landing on the street below it.
That bus crash had investigators looking at mechanical issues and how the driver may have caused it as well. That investigation is still ongoing.
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