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Two In Critical Condition After R.I. Bus Crash

WARWICK, R.I. (CBS) -- Two patients were still in critical condition Tuesday after a Rhode Island Public Transit Authority bus crashed into a building on Post Road Monday night.

The driver of the bus had surgery this morning. A 22-year-old male who was a passenger on the bus is also in critical condition. Two other passengers were on the bus. One was treated and released.

The crash happened at 7:15 p.m. Monday, when the bus crossed four lanes of traffic and hit a utility pole before crashing into a building housing a paintball store and auto shop. Two people were inside the auto shop at the time, and neither were injured. The crash trapped the driver and passengers on the bus.

"It is amazing that they crossed four lanes of traffic on a heavily-traveled thoroughfare at 7:15 at night and there were no major accidents," said Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian.

Investigators believe the bus driver may have had a medical emergency, prompting him to lose control of the bus. Avedisian said he spoke to the driver at the scene before he was taken to the hospital, and that he was talking and fairly lucid at the time.

The building has been condemned, leaving two businesses temporarily closed.

"Thank God, I'd rather he hit the building than hit some cars head-on," said building owner Ralph Accinno, who got the call about the crash from one of his tenants who was standing in the building at the time.

Avedisian, who is a member of the RIPTA board, said authorities have begun interviewing passengers. All RIPTA buses do have surveillance cameras, and investigators are currently looking at the video from the bus to figure out what happened and decide whether it will be publicly released.



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