A Greyhound bus en route from Los Angeles to Dallas crashed in Arizona early Thursday morning after a rider allegedly attacked the bus driver. “We believe he was under the influence of narcotics. We believe he was high,” Bart Graves, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, told ABC News.
Maquel Donyel Morris, 25, allegedly attacked the driver and grabbed the wheel as the bus traveled east along Interstate 10, near the town of Tonopah, about 50 miles west of Phoenix, at 1:45 a.m. A few of the passengers stepped in to help the driver, and together were able to stop the bus — 6 feet from oncoming traffic, according to a statement from Arizona Department of Public Safety.
Raul Garcia, also a spokesman for ADPS, told ABC News “at least two firefighters had to stand between the suspect and the remaining passenger victims. More than one passenger wanted to go hands on with the suspect.”
The suspect and his girlfriend fled the scene but emerged from the desert 30 minutes later.
Highway patrol officers arrested Morris and transported him to the Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix. His girlfriend was not arrested, but is part of the investigation, Graves said.
Morris suffered no physical injuries, said Graves, but is in the hospital because he “had so many drugs in his system they had to be flushed out,” said Graves.
Of the 46 bus passengers, 24 were transported to various hospitals in the Phoenix area. Three were taken by air ambulance to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, including one of the passengers who’d intervened in the attack.
Of the three passengers who were airlifted, one had helped to subdue the suspect while the bus was moving. One endured fractures to the lower body, and another sustained a back injury.
Morris is likely to face 48 counts of endangerment, 24 counts of assault and three counts of aggravated assault, according to the statement from Arizona Department of Public Safety. More charges could be filed after the toxicology report comes back, said Graves.