Witness describes ‘carnage’ after crash which killed 60-year-old bus driver

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A man who ran to help injured commuters after a crash which killed a bus driver said it was “carnage like nothing I’ve seen before”.

The witness, who did not wish to be identified, lifted wounded passengers from the wreckage after a car and two single-decker buses collided in Orpington, south-east London, on Thursday night.

The driver of one of the buses, believed to be a 60-year-old man, was pronounced dead at the scene while 15 other people were injured, three seriously, the Metropolitan Police said.

The witness told the PA news agency he was getting ready for bed when he heard “an almighty smash”.

“The house shook – it was like a bomb had gone off,” he said.

Bus accident in Orpington
Police and recovery workers remove a damaged bus from the scene (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The man said an R11 bus had crashed into the wall of a house, and another, the 358, ended up on the pavement.

He said: “I jumped onto the bus, and lifted someone up who had broken their arm and leg.

“Four to five people had been thrown from the bus and were lying on the road, and the buses were destroyed… it was carnage like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

“There were all sorts of injuries, from cuts and grazes to people who couldn’t move because of broken bones.”

A 16-year-old boy who could not move because of a back injury was among those thrown from the bus, he said.

The man said he stayed with the teenager until emergency services came and helped call his parents.

He added: “I’m upset, I’m devastated.

“About two or three years ago I wrote a letter to my local councillor saying something needs to be done about speeding on the road.

“The council said, until there’s a fatality we won’t do anything about it.

“Now they have the fatality – will something be done about it?”

Tariq Sheikh, who lives close to the scene of the crash, said: “I know the area, I’ve been here 25 years, and basically this road is used as an open season race track late at night.

“The council needs to fast track some kind of remedy – someone died last night.”

Bus accident in Orpington
The accident took place in Sevenoaks Road (Giles Anderson/PA)

Another women who lives on the road drove one of the 15 injured to hospital, according to her neighbour.

Margaret Lovell, 57, said: “She took a young lad to hospital in her car.”

Other residents also said they heard the loud bang from their home last night, some from as far as a quarter of a mile away.

Vijay Ani, who lives on the road, said: “Police were running down the road with fire blankets and there were flashing blue lights.”

Ten ambulance crews from London Ambulance Service and officers from London Fire Brigade helped rescue and treat the casualties.

A crane removed the two buses from the road on Friday morning.

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