PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A major accident involving an HRT bus and a minivan injured nearly two dozen people in Portsmouth on Monday afternoon.
It happened just before 4 p.m. at the intersection of Bart and Court Street, down the street from the Union Bank and Trust Pavilion in Portsmouth, near the Downtown Tunnel.
Police say 21 people in total were hurt, and 16 were taken to the hospital. One person had injuries considered serious.
On Thursday, police announced the driver of the minivan was charged with fail to yield left hand turn.
10 On Your Side talked with a woman who was on the bus when the crash happened.
“Everybody was trying to hold on,” said Andrea Layne.
Police said an HRT bus and a minivan collided, injuring 21 people, including the passengers in the minivan. Layne was one of those people hurt.
“I hit my head on the pole and my daughter hit her head on the window and knee. She scraped her arm,” Layne said.
Layne said she was sitting in the back of the bus with her daughter. She said the bus was heading straight on Bart Street when she noticed a minivan coming their way.
“We just got off the interstate to go to Court and County, and the driver slammed on the brakes to avoid an accident,” Layne said.
The crash sent the bus into the traffic pole, shattering the bus windshield and it left the traffic lights dangling.
Layne said the bus driver hit his head, but he checked on passengers first.
“He yelled ‘everybody OK?’ and we had people on the floor and stuff,” she said. “Most people on the bus was worried about me because I actually got thrown from the back to the middle of the bus.”
Layne had a deep cut in between her eyes and blood stains on her shirt, but she declined to be taken to the hospital.
She claims the bus had the right of way and she said the accident could’ve been avoided, but she credits the HRT driver for his quick reaction. She’s glad it wasn’t worse.
“Yeah we seen the car turn and we knew it ran a red light and he had a green light,” Layne said. “All he could do was slam on his brakes he couldn’t do much. He was trying to protect us.”