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NJ TRANSIT Bus, Car Crash In Irvington Takes Out Utility Poles

IRVINGTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- There was a chaotic scene in New Jersey where an NJ TRANSIT bus with passengers on board crashed into utility poles.

Police say that bus was hit by a stolen vehicle.

After the crash, a mangled red car and downed power lines were in the street - they've since been cleared. People were trying to avoid the live wires as they rushed to safety.

About a dozen people were treated for things like cuts, soreness and sprains. That's remarkable, when you consider with 30 people on that bus, this could have easily turned into tragedy.

Now, it's all about the clean up, and repairing the utility poles. Crews have been on the scene since 7:30 a.m., ever since the driver of the car - who witnesses say was trying to beat a red light - crashed into the bus full of people.

As CBS2's Jessica Layton reports, the chaotic chain-reaction crash that knocked down utility poles and took out a fence sent shockwaves through the Irvington intersection during one of the busiest times of the day - the morning rush.

"I was in my home and I heard a large boom," said Courtney Williams.

That boom was the sound of a red car, which police say was stolen in Irvington Tuesday, slamming into the now beat-up NJ TRANSIT bus around 7:30 a.m., forcing the bus with 30 passengers to jump the sidewalk and leave a maze of metal, and rattled nerves, behind.

"And I got to the corner and the red car was spinning in circles. That's when I seen kids crying and people yelling," Williams said.

Williams witnessed the dramatic wreck and captured the commotion on his cell phone. He saw several passengers, including children, climbing through windows and emergency exits to escape. It was a race against time, since the passengers were afraid the downed wires could electrocute them.

"They was all dizzy. One guy couldn't get up," Williams said.

"Yeah, it was crazy," said Irvington resident Lydia Robb.

Robb walked the long way to her home to avoid the electrical wires left strewn about after a scary situation that seems like it could have been so easily avoided.

"Drive safe, man. Stop trying to beat the orange light. That means slow down, don't speed up," Williams said.

The driver of the stolen car, who was unconscious when help arrived, is in custody. No word yet on his passenger is doing.

Jessica Layton contributed to this report.

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