MTA Bus Crashes Into Brooklyn Home, Injuring 16

An M.T.A. bus slammed into a historic rowhouse in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, injuring several people aboard the vehicle, the authorities said.,

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Sixteen people were injured, none of them critically, after a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus crashed into a rowhouse in Brooklyn on Monday afternoon, officials said.

The bus, traveling on the B49 route, slammed into a building at the corner of Lincoln Road and Bedford Avenue before 2 p.m., officials said. It smashed a hole in the first-floor facade and bent a window pane on the second floor.

But the house, located in Prospect Lefferts Gardens’ historic district, was still standing after the crash. Bricks were strewn about the sidewalk in front of the building, which has a doctor’s office on its garden level.

The bus had not been removed from the site about two hours after the incident. The Department of Buildings said it sent inspectors and engineers to investigate and ensure the building remained structurally sound.

The Fire Department said it would investigate the cause of the crash, but that it did not believe that the bus driver was speeding or that there were mechanical problems.

Craig Cipriano, the president of M.T.A. Bus, which operates the city’s buses, said that the driver, a 55-year-old man, had 13 years experience and no prior collisions.

Andrea Clarke, 60, a neighbor, said that the driver, who has not been identified, told her that his foot had gotten stuck between the brake and the accelerator.

“His hand was bloody, but thank God, he was OK,” Ms. Clarke said, adding that the man was wandering around as if in a daze after the crash. “All he cared about was, was anybody hurt.”

ImageThe driver, a 55-year-old man, had 13 years experience and no prior collisions, said the president of M.T.A. Bus, which operates the city's buses.
The driver, a 55-year-old man, had 13 years experience and no prior collisions, said the president of M.T.A. Bus, which operates the city’s buses.Credit…Dave Sanders for The New York Times

Most of those injured in the crash were able to walk on their own, officials said. Thirteen people were taken to the hospital.

A receptionist at the doctor’s office inside the building said that the office was not hit by the bus, though she did hear the crash. She would not provide further details.

Officials did not say how many people were inside the office at the time of the crash.

Neighbors said they believed that the doctor was also the building’s owner, who could not be reached for comment.

A tenant who was inside the building at the time said that they heard loud screeching, then felt a rumble and heard a huge crunch when the bus made impact.

“Like metal bursting through stone and brick,” said the tenant, Elena, 33, who declined to provide their last name.

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The Department of Buildings said it sent inspectors and engineers to investigate and ensure the building remained structurally sound.Credit…Dave Sanders for The New York Times

Rose Fleischer-Black, 16, said that the top of the bus appeared to be smoking after the crash. She lives two houses down and was studying for an exam when the incident took place.

“I came outside, and I was like, ‘Oh, there’s a bus there,'” she said.

Ms. Clarke, who has lived across the street from the house for years, said that it was not the first time that a collision had taken place at the intersection.

About 20 years ago, she said, a car hit the same building.

“This corner is insane,” Ms. Clarke said. “People always try to make this light — we’ve had serious accidents on this corner.”

City records show that the house is part of a historic district that was landmarked to preserve early 20th-century architecture.

In a report in 1979, the Landmarks Preservation Commission singled out the building for its limestone facade, though the Bedford Avenue side of the house is made of brick.

Diane Bezucha contributed reporting.

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