BRONX, N.Y. — MTA officials said the driver of the MTA bus that drove over the side of a Bronx overpass Thursday night refused to take a drug test and that speed was likely a factor in the crash.

“The bus appears, according to GPS, to have been traveling at a high rate of speed as it attempted to make the turn,” said Pat Warren, MTA Chief Safety Officer. "We know the bus was going between 17 and 26 miles an hour at the time of the incident."

"The appropriate speed for taking a turn such as this is between 3 and 4 miles an hour,” Warren added. “So we can say at this time that while the investigation is ongoing speed is clearly a factor and is obviously a great concern to us.”

Interim NYC Transit President Sarah Feinberg said that while the unidentified 55-year-old driver did pass a breathalyzer, he refused to participate in an MTA-mandated drug and alcohol test.

Feinberg called it “extremely rare for someone not to agree to cooperate with it and obviously extremely troubling.”

Under MTA policy, refusing the test is ground for termination. Late Friday, the driver was suspended without pay as the investigation continues.

Craig Cipriano, vice president of buses for NYC Transit, said a preliminary investigation showed no indication of any mechanical issues. He also said the bus was inspected on January 13 with no open issues.

The scene was straight out of an action movie after the tandem bus was left dangling onto the roadway below.

“All the windows are smashed, the front looks obliterated right now. It's some crazy stuff," a passerby said.

Photo courtesy of the MTA.

It happened just after 11 p.m. on University Ave above the Cross Bronx Expressway.

Police said a BX35 bus crashed into the traffic barrier and plunged 50 feet below onto an access road, leaving the front half of the bus hanging over the edge and the back half still on the overpass.

Video shows FDNY crews rescuing the seven passengers, who were brought to the hospital with minor injuries.

Officials said the bus driver was also brought to the hospital for a jaw injury.

People walking by couldn’t believe what happened.

"Never seen that. Thank God nobody got killed," said Warren Pope, an onlooker to the crash Friday morning.

The scene blocked traffic for hours, rerouting other Bronx buses.

“We had to walk across the bridge," Pope explained. "All the buses are stopping here. People gotta walk across, and a lot of buses are late behind this, and a lot of people are going to be late for work.”

Around 6 a.m. Friday, a heavy wrecker slowly pulled the bus back up on the overpass and it was towed away.​


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