PHOENIX (AP) - A passenger attacked the driver of a Greyhound bus early Thursday as it traveled down an Arizona highway, causing the bus to swerve and throw passengers from their seats before it went off the road, injuring 24 people, authorities said.
The Dallas-bound bus was heading east from Los Angeles on Interstate 10 when it wrecked shortly before 2 a.m. near the community of Tonopah, about 50 miles west of Phoenix.
One of the passengers “basically went berserk in the bus and grabbed control of vehicle,” Harquahala Fire District Chief Dan Caudle told KPHO-TV.
The bus crossed the highway median but came to a stop before entering westbound traffic when other passengers restrained the 25-year-old California man, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said.
“The passengers descended on him,” DPS spokesman Bart Graves told The Associated Press.
The bus remained upright, and none of the 24 people taken to hospitals had life-threatening injuries, the agency said.
The driver “did a good job of maintaining control” before the bus came to a stop in the median, where there were numerous rocks and bushes, Caudle told the station.
The Department of Public Safety identified the attacker as Maquel Donyel Morris, of Los Angeles
Susana Ordinola, 48, of San Bernardino, Calif., said she heard other passengers complain to the driver about Morris during a stop in Blythe, Calif. She then saw the driver talk to him.
After the bus entered Arizona, the man suddenly ran toward the driver, Ordinola said. “He screamed, `Everybody’s going to die.’”
Ordinola said she was sitting right behind the driver and saw Morris grab the steering wheel. The bus then started swerving.
She said people were thrown from their seats. When the bus came to a stop, she saw people bleeding and screaming in pain.
“Everybody is jumping and flying and screaming,” Ordinola said while waiting for a bus back to California.