SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Five people are hurt after a bus crash in downtown San Francisco during the morning commute.
Witnesses say the driver of a green AC Transit bus driver hit two cars then clipped another transit bus, before careening out of control onto a city sidewalk at Folsom and Fremont Streets.
The driver smashed into a light pole, bushes, concrete garden barriers, a traffic pole and construction scaffolding in front of an apartment building called Solaire before coming to a stop.
It happened just before 9:30 this morning.
Witnesses aboard the green bus described the harrowing moments before the bus came to a stop.
"It was scary," said passenger Tyler Cooper, "I kept thinking surely the bus driver is gonna slam on the brakes and we'll deal with this situation but we just sort of plowed through the intersection."
Cooper’s bus, bound from Oakland, was heading north on Fremont Street when the driver lost control of the bus, while trying to make a right hand turn.
"I couldn't figure out why we weren't stopping... we just sort of ended up hitting a concrete sort of garden area which tilted the bus," said Cooper.
Witnesses told KTVU one man was standing here on the sidewalk and dropped to ground between two garden concrete barriers as the bus flew over his head. Miraculously, he walked away without a scratch.
"It [was] just frantic," said Jeffrey Poe, who was working construction across the street. "I just tried to do what I could." Poe and co-worker, Bobby Balmy ran to help.
"[Jeff] was in the bus helping out, had some windows open, was knocking out some windows and trying to get the pieces of wood that you see propping up the windows going so we could maybe start moving people out," recalled Balmy.
Video from a nearby construction camera shows the bus barreling through the intersection.
It's still unclear what caused the crash. Investigators are trying to figure out if the bus driver suffered some sort of medical emergency or if mechanical failure or operator error played a role.
"The [green] bus somehow lost control and that's what we're trying to determine what happened to lead that operator to lose control," said AC Transit Spokesperson Robert Lyles.
Five people were hurt, all with non-life-threatening injuries, including both bus drivers.
AC Transit did not have an exact head count on the number of passengers because many left the scene after the accident, but witnesses told KTVU it appeared to be about three dozen people on both buses combined.
The Folsom Street off ramp was shut down for two hours, between 9:30 and 11:30 which impacted the morning commute.
About two blocks of Fremont Street remained for much of the day, only reopening for the tail end of the evening commute.