An early morning attack on a Greyhound driver on a bus bound from LA to Phoenix caused the bus to crash and injured several passengers. The incident is raising questions about security on passenger buses. Patrick Healy reports from Downtown LA’s Greyhound Terminal for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014.
More than 20 people were injured early Thursday when a bus that left Los Angeles for Dallas crashed in the western Arizona desert after a passenger attacked the driver and other passengers helped regain control of the bus.
The Greyhound bus was heading east on Interstate 10 when the crash occurred near Tonopah, about 50 miles west of Phoenix, shortly before 2 a.m. Thursday, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. A DPS official said the bus crossed the highway median, but came to a stop before entering westbound traffic when other passengers restrained the attacker as he pummeled the driver, who "did a very good job of controlling the bus."
"He was actually hitting the bus driver -- hitting him hard to the face," passenger Gregory Frost told KPNX-TV. "He was saying, 'Help me, help me. Somebody come up here and help me.'"
The passengers and driver stopped the bus from entering oncoming traffic, according to authorities.
DPS spokesman Bart Graves said 25-year-old Maquel Donyel Morris of Los Angeles has been arrested. The man had what officials described as "an emotional incident."
The suspect and his girlfriend ran into the desert after the bus ran off the road, but returned to the crash site about 30 minutes later, according to officials. He was booked on 48 counts of felony endangerment, 24 counts of assault and three counts of aggravated assault, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
More than 20 people were injured, including three airlifted to hospitals for non-life threatening injuries.