Quick thinking and bold action were all in a day’s work for one MBTA bus driver who steered his bus into a car to slow it down and call for help when he saw that the driver was unconscious, MBTA Transit Police said.
Paul Healy, 58, an MBTA employee for 14 years, was driving the Route 230 bus down a multi-lane stretch of Quincy Avenue in Quincy when he noticed something strange about the 2009 Jeep Compass rolling next to his bus: The vehicle was moving forward, but the woman driving it was slumped over the wheel, according to Transit Police spokesman Richard Sullivan.
“We believe the woman suffered a medical emergency, more than likely a seizure,” Sullivan said.
Healy eased his bus against the vehicle and wedged it against the curb, slowing the Jeep to almost a complete stop. He stopped the bus and ran out to help the 56-year-old Braintree woman, while the car was still inching forward.
“Healy ran around to the open passenger side window and jumped in,” Sullivan said. “He was hanging half in, half out of the car and removed the keys from the ignition and was able to summon EMS.”
Healy is being credited with possibly saving the woman’s life and protecting the lives of pedestrians, bikers, and drivers who could have been hit by her car if it had kept moving.
The woman was taken to Steward Satellite Emergency Facility in Quincy and is doing well, and spoke to police shortly after the ordeal. There was minimal damage to her vehicle and to the bus and no one was injured.
“She told the responding officer that she believes the actions of the bus driver probably saved her life, and she was very thankful,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said both the MBTA and its Transit Police are very proud of Healy’s actions, which demonstrate the level of dedication the bus driver has for his job. Other accidents caused by freak medical emergencies have ended with property damage and personal injuries, Sullivan said.
“MBTA employees are often criticized, in particular bus operators,” Sullivan said. “This is just another example, showing they’re hard-working, dedicated public servants. He went above and beyond the call of duty.”
After his daring rescue, what did Healy do? He “continued on his route picking up and dropping off passengers,” Sullivan said.Sarah Roberts can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @heysarahroberts