FARMINGTON HILLS (WWJ) – A pickup truck driver was seriously injured, early Thursday morning, in a crash with a SMART bus.

Police said two bus passengers were also sent to the hospital following the collision, on northbound Orchard Lake Road near 11 Mile Road.

Farmington Hills Police Commander Mike said there were 13 people aboard the bus when it happened.

“We don’t know if the bus was stopped or if it was moving at the time; we’re still investigating,” Ciaramitaro said.

He said the SMART bus was making a turnaround when the truck slammed into it.

Passenger Josh Matta told WWJ that, although he was almost knocked out of his seat, he was somehow able to catch himself from falling. But, he said, not everyone was able to do the same.

“Probably six or seven people weren’t, and they were in the aisles, on the ground, with bumps and bruises and such,” he said.

The passengers, Matta said, were caught off guard.”You know, it’s early in the morning and you just kinda get settled into the bus, and, you know, just kind of relax,” he said, “and all of a sudden this impact hits.”

Investigators are trying to work out exactly what led to the collision.

“Lighting is always a factor when we have vehicles across the roadway,” Ciaramitaro said. “We have officers trained in reconstruction, and one aspect of traffic reconstruction is the analysis of lights — whether they’re on. Also, the illumination of the bus and how visible it was to the traffic on the roadway.”

In addition to the lighting, police are testing both drivers for alcohol use.

“At this time we have some indication that there may have been some alcohol,” he said. “However, we’re not in a position to say it was a factor in the crash.”

Orchard Lake Road was closed for hours after the accident.


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