CNN — A Greyhound passenger attacked the driver on a moving bus early Thursday in Arizona, police said, causing an accident that injured 24 people. But quick-acting passengers helped prevent what could have been a gruesome outcome, authorities said.
The attack sent the bus bouncing across an uneven median in the middle of Interstate 10. Other passengers jumped to their feet and subdued the attacker. They also helped the driver stop the bus just seconds before it would have barreled head-on into other vehicles, police said.
The incident took place near Tonopah, about 50 miles west of Phoenix, Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Carrick Cook said.
"This thing traveled about 300 feet in the median, bouncing up and down, and that's where the injuries occurred," Cook said. " ... I think the officer (at the scene) said it was about 6 feet from going into oncoming traffic."
Investigators believe passenger Maquel Donyel Morris, 25, walked up to the driver and tried to take control of the wheel at about 1:45 a.m., pulling and punching the driver in the process, DPS spokesman Bart Graves said.
The bus swerved left and entered the median. Some other riders confronted Morris, and the bus stopped before it entered the westbound lanes, Cook said.
Morris fled into the desert, but returned 30 minutes later and was arrested, Cook said. It wasn't immediately clear what led to the attack, Cook said.
Among the injured, one suffered fractures to the lower body, and one sustained a back injury, Cook said. At least 21 were taken to hospitals, he said.
No immediate public statement was made on Morris' behalf.
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