Detroit bus crashes into car, warehouse; 5 hospitalized

Christine Ferretti, and Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A Detroit Department of Transportation bus collided with an SUV before crashing into a warehouse Friday afternoon on the city’s west side, sending at least five people to the hospital.

The bus driver, three passengers and the driver of the SUV involved were among the injured. All were taken to Henry Ford Hospital by Detroit EMS, said Detroit’s Deputy Fire Commissioner Dave Fornell.

Fornell told The Detroit News that when Detroit EMS arrived, the 60-year-old bus driver was found unconscious on the ground outside the bus. He was listed in critical condition.

Fornell said the driver of the Ford Escape, an 18-year-old man, suffered neck and back injuries and cuts. He was also transported to the hospital and is in critical condition.

Detroit Police Commander Nick Kyriacou, who was on the scene, said the driver had to be cut out of the SUV, and then was walking around and talking. Kyriacou also noted a fourth bus passenger who he said was transported to the hospital.

The three bus passengers transported to the hospital by Detroit EMS suffered non-life threatening injuries, Fornell said. They were two men aged 60 and 65, and a 45-year-old woman in a wheelchair.

The bus crashed through the wall of the Sun Valley Foods warehouse loading dock at Dexter and Doris at around 3:20 p.m. None of the workers were hurt, authorities say.

Police say the crash occurred when the man in the Ford Escape failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection while driving west on Doris. The bus had been northbound on Dexter when it struck the SUV and then another vehicle, a Honda Pilot, which was empty and parked nearby.

The Escape sheered through a telephone pole near the front of the warehouse.

“If you had a closer look at that vehicle, you can’t believe that guy just walked away,” Kyriacou said of the SUV driver “It’s amazing.”

After the crash, the SUV driver was “actually walking and talking,” said Kyriacou.

Police said there is clear video footage that investigators are reviewing from inside the Sun Valley Foods building. A phone call to Sun Valley wasn’t immediately returned Friday afternoon.

Dallas Thomas said he was outside of his home on Dexter a couple houses away when he saw the SUV “fly through the intersection.” The bus T-boned it and “snagged onto the car,” he said.

“It didn’t stop,” said Thomas, who has lived in the neighborhood for 10 years. “It happened so fast. You were just kind of in shock. You don’t think nobody going to come out from that.”

Dozens of onlookers remained at the intersection for more than a hour after the crash, watching officers behind yellow tape survey the damage. Paper and debris littered the grass near where the bus plowed through the loading dock and the SUV sheared a telephone pole.

Some neighbors and others shook their heads in disbelief as they learned what happened.

“Look at the damage it did to that building,” said Elaine Bouyer, a former resident who had been volunteering at a school nearby. “That’s hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.”

Among the crowd also was Bernard Swafford, who lives nearby and had been sleeping, came over after the helicopter circling overhead woke him up.

Seeing the damage, “I thought we were going to bury some innocent people,” he said. “Everyone knows Dexter is a busy street who stays here. For (the driver) not to stop at the stop sign is beyond my imagination.”