A man with a history of drunken and erratic driving is facing charges of operating under the influence of drugs after his car allegedly traveled the wrong way down a Randolph street and collided with an MBTA bus Tuesday morning, injuring up to 20 people, officials said.
The victims reported neck and back discomfort, as well as other injuries, according to MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo. None of the injuries was considered life-threatening, authorities said.
According to officials, the crash involving a Route 240 bus occurred about 10:40 a.m. on North Main Street (Route 28) near the intersection of Waldo Street.
Dramatic video provided by the MBTA shows a car speeding into the oncoming lane and colliding with the bus’s front end. Smoke pours from the engine as the car comes to rest on the sidewalk.
Transit police Lieutenant Richard Sullivan said Stephen Griswold, 30, of Franklin, was traveling southbound on North Main Street when his Ford 500 sedan slammed into the bus traveling north with 34 passengers on board. Sullivan said that, according to witnesses, Griswold’s Ford crossed the double yellow line and traveled south 50 feet the wrong way in the northbound lane before crashing into the bus.
Griswold was taken into custody by Transit Police. He was charged with operating under the influence of drugs and was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Quincy District Court. He suffered injuries that were not considered life-threatening, Sullivan said, and was not hospitalized.
Eighteen to 20 people, including the bus driver, were injured, said Daniel Kreckler, operations chief for the Randolph Fire Department. MBTA officials said 13 people were taken to local hospitals.
“We’re grateful that no one was seriously injured in today’s accident,” Sullivan said.
The accident was one of two involving MBTA buses Tuesday. In a separate incident, an MBTA bus in Roxbury struck a pedestrian, who suffered minor injuries.
Driving records provided by the state Department of Transportation showed Griswold’s license has previously been suspended for multiple surchargeable accidents. He received two operating under the influence citations between March 2006 and April 2008. He was found guilty in the latter incident, and was without a license from April 26, 2008, until Oct. 19, 2011, the report showed.
He was also driving with an interlock device as recently as February of this year.
Monday’s crash startled witnesses and residents.
Steven Ramsden, 34, said he was making a cup of coffee in his kitchen at 1174 North Main St. when he heard a bang that sounded like “a cherry bomb.”
“It looked like people were trying to get out of the emergency exit of the bus, but it didn’t seem like they were able to push them open,” Ramsden said. “The front door of the bus was so badly jammed that the crews had to use the side doors to get people out.”
Ramsden said the passengers were generally calm after the crash, but the bus driver was “leaning over with her hands on her face,” and the car driver was “wicked shaky.”
“As soon as the driver got out of the car, I saw him go into Randolph Pharmacy . . . and then go back into the hair salon next door,” Ramsden said. “He only came out of the salon after police started showing up.”
Below are photos and reports from the Randolph scene:
Sky 7 over the scene on N. Main Street in Randolph where an MBTA bus has collided with a car. pic.twitter.com/BGLHt7eUkD— WHDH Assignment Desk (@deskon7) August 12, 2014
Faiz Siddiqui can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Trisha Thadani can be reached at email@example.com.
Randolph - 1183 North Main St - MBTA crash - multiple mutual aid ambulances I'm scene pic.twitter.com/djYdb2Kmyz— KiloWhiskey (@kwilesjrphoto) August 12, 2014