AUBURN — A Bangor-bound Greyhound bus collided with a Ford Focus about 7:15 p.m. Sunday on northbound Washington Street, sending the driver of the passenger vehicle to the hospital.
“We heard a big smash out here, so I came out (from a nearby house) to take a look,” said Josh Harmon, 28, of Auburn. “I ran out and all her doors were locked. I ran back, got a big wrench and smashed out her back window.”
Harmon said the driver of the Ford, an unidentified young woman, was pulling out of the Washington Park trailer park across Washington Street from Philomar Street when she collided with the Greyhound bus. Harmon said he thought she was having trouble seeing around snowdrifts piled high on the side of the streets.
“You can’t see anything with the snow piled up like it is,” Harmon said.
Harmon said she was unconscious when he first reached her, but he was able to open the passenger door, wake her up and get her out.
“I asked if her neck hurt. She said it didn’t, and I said ‘Well, get out of the car,'” Harmon said. “It was smoking, and I didn’t know if it was going to catch fire or what.”
Harmon and friends took the woman to a nearby house. Auburn fire Capt. Scott Pray said the woman was awake and coherent when emergency crews arrived. She was taken to an area hospital.
None of the passengers in the Greyhound bus were injured, Pray said, and the bus itself suffered minor damage to the front end and to a passenger-side luggage compartment.
The accident delayed passengers for about an hour while Auburn police interviewed them, took their names and their seat assignments. The bus had left Portland at 6:45 p.m. and was due to arrive in Lewiston at about 7:35 p.m., continuing on to Bangor at 9:35 p.m.
It arrived at the Lewiston station at about 8:35 p.m. Sunday and continued on north.
Greyhound employees contacted at the Lewiston station declined to comment and referred all questions to the company’s corporate representatives.
Passenger James Ellis, who was bound for Bangor, said he was on the phone when the accident happened.
“It was the lady’s fault,” Ellis said. “I just don’t think she was paying attention. She just kept creeping out and creeping out. And a bus like this, it really can’t stop on a dime.”
The accident snarled traffic along northbound Washington Street for about 45 minutes while police and fire crews worked to clean up the scene.