CapMetro bus crashes into home, officials say

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(Austin Fire Department)

Four people are recovering from injuries after being involved in a crash that sent a Capital Metro bus directly into the front of a house. 

The collision happened around 3:00 Monday afternoon in North Austin at the intersection of 53rd Street and Duval.

“We heard it and we felt it. It felt like an earthquake,” said Abby Nirenberg who was visiting with her friends who live at the rental home.  

Once the house stopped shaking, they heard something even more disturbing. 

“Just the way she was screaming. I'll never forget it,” Nirenberg said.  

As they walked to a room at the front of the house on 53rd Street and Duval Street, they realized what had just taken place. 

“It was a lot worse than we imagined,” said Nirenberg.  

A Capital Metro bus was sticking out of the bathroom. The woman screaming was the bus driver. 
Mario de Leon, general manager of Home Slice Pizza across the street, helped pull her from the wreck. 

“She was kind of pinned in a little bit,” de Leon said.   

First responders on scene said witnesses saw the driver of the pickup truck hit the side of the bus which then sent the bus directly into the home. 
Austin Travis County EMS said there may have been an underlying issue that caused the truck driver to do that. 

“Upon arrival to the scene, we found a gentleman that was experiencing a medical emergency in the pickup truck,” said Eric Jacubauskas, division chief at ATCEMS.  

That driver and three people on the bus were taken to the hospital. They are all expected to be okay. All five people who were inside the home are also okay, but the house is a different story. 

“The whole house is torn apart,” Nirenberg said.  

It took about an hour and a half for the fire department to get the bus out of the home. They had to use a fire engine just to do so. Once they did, the possibility of a collapse was obvious. 

“Our special operations crews that do structural collapse are going to do a little bit of stabilization, make sure the facade of the house that was struck remains intact,” said Austin Fire Department Division Chief Palmer Buck.  

Although it's not clear what exactly caused the crash, de Leon said there have been too many other incidents at that intersection in the past. 

“We've actually made phone calls, and we know a lot of the neighbors have, to put street lights there,” de Leon said.  

Nirenberg said her friends will have to find a place to stay for a while as their rental home is repaired. Still, she's grateful no one was seriously injured. 

“Obviously, there's a lot of damage, but it could've been a lot worse and we're definitely lucky that we're all alive for sure,” said Nirenberg.