(Update) MTA bus driver dies in crash with stolen truck in Greenwich Village
A city bus driver died and several more were injured after a collision with a stolen box truck in Greenwich Village on Wednesday morning, authorities said.
The truck slammed into an eastbound M14D bus about 5:40 a.m. near the corner of Seventh Avenue and 14th Street, sending both vehicles onto the sidewalk, police and fire department officials said.
A 17-year veteran of the MTA, William Pena, 49, was pronounced dead at the scene, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.
Police said a 22-year-old man stole the truck a few blocks from the intersection before heading south on Seventh Avenue and slamming into the bus.
Officers responding to a reported burglary on 16th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues around 5:30 a.m. were told by a man there that his box truck, marked 18 Rabbits Granola, had been stolen. After canvassing the area, police discovered the truck had been involved in a collision.
Both vehicles had plowed into an MTA subway entrance and sidewalk scaffolding that partially collapsed.
After being hit by the truck, police said the bus appeared to have struck several vehicles, which then rammed into a food cart, injuring a coffee vendor and a customer. Both were treated with minor injuries.
One bus passenger was treated at a nearby hospital with a cut to the head, police said. An operator of a three-wheeled scooter was also hit by the truck before the collision.
The truck’s driver was taken into custody and treated with minor injuries at Bellevue Hospital, police said. Charges against him are pending, police said.
Pena was the first on-duty MTA bus operator killed during a collision in over 14 years. He is survived by his wife and teenage daughter.
“The entire MTA mourns the tragic loss of Mr. Pena, especially his colleagues at the Michael J. Quill Bus Depot in Manhattan,” MTA head Thomas Prendergast said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Pena’s family, and we are working closely with law enforcement to ensure the perpetrator of this crime is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The safety of our customers and our employees remains our most important priority.”
Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders