An accident between a CT Transit bus and a New Haven police officer occurred this week. The bus was carrying dozens of passengers, including children, and many of them were taken to the hospital following the incident. The police officer was also injured and taken to the hospital, though a police spokesman indicated that the injuries the officer suffered were not considered life threatening.
The accident took place in the morning on a popular street dotted with churches and the local library. The bus involved in the crash was a double-length articulated vehicle. There were no fatalities, and of the 22 adults and four children who were on board at the time of the accident, four decided against being treated at the hospital.
Passengers remarked on the shock of suddenly being thrown through the air, and described the panic that followed the crash.
“Everybody was falling all over the place at the same time, kicking out the windows so the bus didn’t catch on fire and trying to get off the bus as fast as they can,” said Gregory Andrews, a passenger at the time of the crash.
A spokesman for the New Haven police department indicated that the police officer, identified as Victor Herrera, was on duty and was headed to Union Station, responding to a police call of a reported fight. Witnesses to the accident said that more than one police car was seen rushing down Elm Street, and that Herrera’s car was the second one heading down the street when it collided with the CT Transit bus, which was crossing on Temple Street.
The officer was said to have tried to turn his vehicle to avoid the accident but was not able to. His cruiser ended up at rest on a corner after having collided with a stone post. At this point the accident is still under investigation and no determination has been made as to who was at fault.
Response to the accident was immediate, with more than a dozen ambulances arriving and removing passengers on stretchers. The police vehicle involved was badly damaged and the bus had a broken front windshield. A number of bicycles had been being transported on its front rack and were also damaged, as was the light pole that the bus struck.