A PEDESTRIAN is fighting for his life after being mowed down by an out-of-control bus in Sydney’s north today, after a bus driver suffered a “medical episode”. The man, 63, was among six people injured after a male bus driver “suffered a medical episode”, according to NSW Ambulance, and mounted the footpath on Miller St, Cammeray just before 9am.
Witnesses told police the bus veered off the road, striking a tree and pushing it into a shop awning before mounting the kerb and hitting at least three parked cars and pedestrians.
The 63-year-old man suffered fractured ribs, arm and leg injuries and is in a critical condition in Royal North Shore Hospital, CareFlight said in a statement.
The 41-year-old bus driver, a 25-year-old man and two women, aged 26 and 50, were taken to the same hospital where they remain in a stable condition.
A sixth patient was treated at the scene for shock.
TV and radio host Ben Fordham was nearby when the collision occurred in Miller St at Cammeray just before 9am, and jumped into action to lend a hand at the scene.
“It was just this awful noise and the bus was cleaning up cars and, as it turns out, a pedestrian as well,” Fordham said.
“I saw a telegraph pole come down I thought the bus was going to continue down the footpath, it was coming in my direction, I was pushing a pram with my son in it but it stopped.
“There was a second of silence and so I gave my pram to a stranger working in the convenience store and ran across the road as others did.”
Mr Fordham said there were fears the bus might keep moving and fuel might be leaking in the bus.
“The ignition was still going, it was moving the bus a little so people were scared when they got off the bus so I felt like the bus would keep going but a guy reached in window and turn the ignition off,” he said.
“Myself and others helped the people off the bus one by one. I got on the bus to try to help the driver but I couldn’t get anything out of him his eyes we’re closed and he had foam coming out of his mouth.
“It looked like he had suffered a seizure. I started feeling for a pulse, I was shaking so much I couldn’t feel anything, so I started shaking him and yelling at him and another guy started saying ‘come on mate, come on mate’.” Witness Princess Melody Verano was sitting at the back of the 207 bus when it ran through a red light on Miller St, at Amherst St just off the M1, before careering onto the footpath and smashing into several parked cars. No one was inside the vehicles.
The bus driver apparently suffered a medical episode and somehow the bus veered on the footpath and did not crash into the rear of the 267 bus, as passengers had just entered and exited.
“It went through the light we had a bump, it didn’t stop, the people were screaming ‘what was happening?,” Ms Verano said.
“The driver had some sort of seizure because it was out of control then we were breaking the emergency glass door because we thought it was going to blow up.
“It happened so fast I saw the front glass breaking. I feel like we were going to die because it’s smashing all the cars, somebody shouted we need to break the emergency glass so we can jump out.
“Then I jumped out … I saw a man bleeding, I think he cut his finger, and a woman injured her legs.”
Police said the bus “left the road way, striking a tree, which was pushed through the window of a barber shop and awning, before driving on to a pedestrian strip and hitting two parked cars and a pedestrian”.
Local real estate agent Justin Ferguson told the Mosman Daily the CareFlight helicopter had landed in a nearby park to treat the worst injured.
“He’s (the driver) taken a swath of cars, a telegraph pole and trees,” Mr Ferguson said.
“It’s really bad.”
Miller St was closed for several hours and police were directing traffic while motorists were asked to exercise caution until repairs are completed.
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