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A Pierce Transit bus was leaving a transit center near the Tacoma Mall last Tuesday when its engine revved and the vehicle took off, seemingly of its own volition. A number of passengers reported injuries.

The bus driver, employed with Pierce Transit for four years, said that he was fully applying the brakes as the bus careened out of control, clipping three trees, jumping a curb, hitting another bus and finally crashing into a dirt berm at the Tacoma Mall. Witnesses estimate that the bus was traveling at about 35 mph when it crashed.

The bus was carrying 10 passengers, many of which complained of aches and pains as a result of the bus accident. Several passengers in the bus that was hit by the runaway bus also complained of bumps and bruises. One man broke his leg in the accident and was transported to a nearby hospital.

Pierce Transit officials have called the bus manufacturer in Minnesota to examine the bus, which has been in service for several years, Simonsen said. The bus, manufactured in 1999, had a full maintenance check and inspection Aug. 17, and no problems were found, he said.

“Up until (the accident) happened, it was functioning normally,” Simonsen said.

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For more inforation on this subject matter, please refer to the section on Airline, Cruise, Bus, and Other Mass Transit Accidents.

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