Over a dozen hospitalized after MTA bus smashes into BK brownstone

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An out-of-control MTA bus slammed into a Brooklyn brownstone Monday afternoon when the driver’s foot became wedged between the brake and the accelerator, leaving more than a dozen people hospitalized, according to officials and transit sources.

The southbound B49 bus hopped the curb at Bedford Avenue and Lincoln Road around 2 p.m., smashing into the front of a building at the Prospect Lefferts Gardens corner, authorities said.

An MTA bus crashed into a building at the corner of Lincoln Road and Bedford Avenue.
An MTA bus crashed into a building at the corner of Lincoln Road and Bedford Avenue.
Gregory P. Mango

Video of the aftermath showed debris from the facade of the brownstone — which has a medical office on the ground floor and residential space above — piled on the sidewalk, and a window frame knocked askew in the impact.

“I heard screeching sounds, like the sound of cars colliding, crashing, or trying to get out of the way,” said Elena, a resident of the brownstone’s upper floor who was in their room when the impact shook the building. “And then I heard a really loud crunching noise, simultaneously with the reeling of metal crunching into brick and stone.

“I felt the impact,” continued Elena, who declined to give their last name. “I knew something structurally was being affected. … I was worried because I could smell debris and smoke, I was worried there was a fire.”

FDNY workers at the scene of the crash.
FDNY personnel at the scene of the crash.
Gregory P. Mango

Transit sources said that the bus driver, who is 55-years-old and has 13 years on the job, lost control after his foot became lodged between the vehicle’s brake and accelerator.

The driver, whose name was not released, swerved and hit a parked pickup truck before careening into the brownstone, witnesses said.

“It looked like he intentionally turned,” said Prentis Mitchell, who was driving northbound on Bedford when he witnessed the mayhem in the southbound lane.

A total of 16 people were evaluated for injuries at the scene, with 13 of them transported to local hospitals, emergency officials said.

A person gets a hug from a man wearing an MTA polo shirt.
A person gets a hug from a man wearing an MTA polo shirt.
Gregory P. Mango
The crash left over a dozen hospitalized.
The crash left over a dozen hospitalized.
Gregory P. Mango

None of the injuries was considered life-threatening.

Craig Cipriano, the president of MTA Bus, told reporters at the scene that there was no  immediate sign of a mechanical issue with the vehicle.

“The investigation is ongoing but there doesn’t appear [to be] any kind of mechanical defect that caused this incident,” he said. “The initial indication is that the bus was not going at a high rate of speed.”

The city’s Department of Buildings has evacuated the brownstone while evaluating its structural integrity.

The driver’s foot became wedged between the brake and the accelerator.
The driver’s foot became wedged between the brake and the accelerator.
Gregory P. Mango

Though temporarily out of a home, Elena said it was “a miracle” that the fallout wasn’t worse.“It’s going to be an inconvenience, I’m sure, but the one thing you can’t really fix is your life,” said Elena. “There’s always people hanging out. There’s kids on scooters. It’s a very popular corner. It’s a miracle nobody’s [seriously] hurt.”

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