QUEENS — Sixteen people were rushed to the hospital Thursday after an empty school bus struck some cars and then crashed into a city bus in Forest Hills, according to fire and MTA officials.
The school bus driver then tried to flee the scene, but was caught by cops, witnesses said.
No children were on the bus, Department of Education officials said.
All of the injured people — including four in serious condition — were taken to Forest Hills Hospital after the 2:30 p.m. accident on 108th Street and the Horace Harding Expressway, FDNY officials said.
"Instead of trying to wait [for the light] at the intersection, he squeezed through two cars and then hit my car and the [MTA] bus," Howard Miller, of Long Island, said of the school bus driver. "He just took off. But someone managed to call the police and track him down."
Miller said the yellow bus was traveling southbound on 108th Street and attempting a left turn on Horace Harding when it jumped a divider and plowed into his minivan and the MTA bus going north.
"He started running wild," Miller said. "He hit a number of cars and sent a lot of people to the hospital."
Miller's mother suffered a bruise to her head, but he said she would be OK.
It was not immediately clear how many of the victims were on the MTA bus, but transit officials confirmed that most of those hurt were passengers. The MTA bus driver was also injured, but the extent of his injuries was unclear.
An unknown number of people in the cars were also hurt. No one was injured on the school bus, which was not carrying passengers, MTA officials said.
DOE officials confirmed it was a public school bus, but did not immediately have information regarding what school the bus was affiliated with.
The bus was operated by Jofaz Transporation, according to an MTA official on the scene.
Calls to Jofaz, a Brooklyn-based private transit company, went unanswered.
An investigation was ongoing, MTA officials said.