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Ten Metrobus Passengers Injured After Driver Forced Off Road Into Tree

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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A passing truck clipped a Metrobus, sending it veering off the road into a tree Monday, severely injuring the driver and sending ten passengers to the hospital.

The J2 Metrobus was heading for Montgomery Westfield mall in Bethesda when a white pickup truck driving in a parallel lane clipped the side of the bus on East-West Highway at Grubb Road at 4:10 p.m.. The accident sent the Metrobus over the curb and off the road, slamming into a tree which the bus knocked over, reports WJLA.

Emergency crews spent roughly 25 minutes working to remove the bus driver from his seat, shattering windows in order to free him.

“The driver of the bus was trapped for about 15 minutes,” Pete Piringer, a spokesman for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service told NBC Washington. “There’s not much of a front of a bus.”

Authorities moved the driver to an ambulance on a stretcher and took him to Suburban Hospital’s trauma center. D.C. Metro officials said at 6:30 p.m. the driver was in stable condition. In addition to the driver, ten passengers sustained injuries in the crash. They were transported in a “mass casualty bus” to be treated for minor injuries, reports NBC Washington.

D.C. Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld arrived on scene with emergency crews to survey the scene and later visited the driver in the hospital. Crews used an industrial size Metro tow truck to remove the bus from the tree.

Metro Transit Police determined the accident was not the fault of the driver, citing footage from a Metrobus camera. Police issued four citations to the driver of the white pickup truck, Rudy Vasquez, however they have not released details on the cause of the crash.

Vasquez denies the claims he caused the crash, claiming the truck veered into his lane, striking his truck and blowing out the front tire.

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