MANHATTAN — Five people were hurt when a van slammed into a city bus, sending both careening through a crowd of people waiting at a bus stop and into a Washington Heights pizza shop on Friday morning, officials said.
Both an M4 bus, which was out of service with had no passengers at the time, and a Dodge Caravan were heading north on Broadway when the van side-swiped the bus near 155th Street making it lose control and hop onto the sidewalk, plowing through about a dozen people waiting at an M4 stop, city officials said.
The bus wedged its front right side in the storefront of Tommy's Grill and Pizzeria at 3750 Broadway, trapping two people inside, according to city officials.
"The van and the bus were locked together coming down Broadway. A lot of people started running, but two people couldn't get away," said a pizzeria worker who was parking his bike outside at the time.
"The van hit a woman. She fell against the tree. Another man had blood on his forehead. He was conscious and talking though," the worker added, speaking through a translator.
"It was very bloody," added City Councilman Mark Levine, who rushed to the scene after the crash.
One pedestrian was cut in the head, the other suffered a leg injury and both were among the five who were treated at Harlem Hospital and St. Luke's hospital, officials said. The other three included two people who were in the van and the M4 driver, officials said. Their identities were not released and it was not immediately clear who owned the van.
None of the injuries appeared to be serious, the FDNY said.
Police did not immediately suspect any criminality was involved in the crash, an NYPD spokesman said.
The crash began when the van made a turn and struck the left side of the bus, sending both careening over the sidewalk, according to an MTA spokeswoman.
As the two vehicles sped toward the east side of the sidewalk on Broadway between 155 and 166th Street, a group of approximately 10 people standing there tried to run, but some couldn't get away in time, according to Levine.
"I heard a loud noise. It was a loud screeching sound. I screamed and turned my head. next thing I know, there's a bus in the store," said Kiera Pinero, 26, a worker who was helping set up the shop for the day.
"There was broken glass all over. The bus driver seemed to be fine. I heard him talking on the phone reporting it," Pinero said.
Rescuers escorted Pinero and another worker to safety by walking them through the inside of the crashed bus, entering through the mangled front door of the bus and clambering out the back, dodging scattered debris, she said.
"The front of it looked like an accordion," she said.
The van was towed from the scene about 45 minutes after the crash. The bus was towed from the store about 11 a.m. after it was temporarily left in place because officials were worried the building above may collapse it was pulled out.
A Department of Buildings spokesman said preliminarily the structural integrity of the building was not affected, but said they were still investigating.