Crazy video: Runaway bus rolls backwards, slams into Brooklyn church

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Runaway bus rolls backwards, slams into church
N.J. Burkett reports on a bus that rolled backwards and hit a Brooklyn church.

BUSHWICK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- An empty MTA bus rolled down a Brooklyn block, striking several parked cars before crashing to a stop in front of a church.

The bus operator, who had only been driving on her own for three days, has apparently parked the Q58 bus and exited the vehicle just before 1 a.m. when it suddenly started rolling backwards.

The bus careened down Palmetto Avenue, striking several parked cars as it picked up speed. It eventually came to a rest in the fence of St. Paul's Lutheran Church on Knickerbocker Avenue.

Part of the ordeal showing the runaway bus was captured on camera. Take a look here:

Exclusive video from Bushwick

"There was another car that was parked on the corner," witness Khushbu Patel said. "Right before it hit the church, that's why the bus turned. Because it hit that car right there, it turned and then stopped right there at the church. We were like, God stopped it. We were praying for nobody to get hurt."

One man who was attempting to change a tire on the street was forced to jump out of the way.

He was taken to Wyckoff Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. He was not struck by the bus.

The driver, identified by sources as Shatima Simmons, was not injured.

"We are grateful that no one was seriously hurt," a spokesperson for the Transit Workers Union said in a text to Eyewitness News. "This was a very young bus operator in her early 20s who was on the job for only three days. She is obviously very, very upset, and we are going to assist her."

The city buildings department determined there was no structural damage to the church.

The reason the bus started to roll is under investigation, but authorities were looking into whether she forgot to set the parking brake or it if was set and simply malfunctioned.