By Calvin Palmer
A double-decker bus flipped over on an English motorway in the early hours this morning as the driver battled with a passenger who had allegedly grabbed the steering wheel.
Police later arrested a 21-year-old man in connection with the incident.
Witnesses said the man was drunk and tried to grab the wheel. The 48-year-driver was hailed a hero for struggling with the assailant to keep the bus under control.
Two people were injured when the Oxford Tube service — with 12 passengers on board – veered across the hard shoulder and up an embankment on the M40 motorway between Beaconsfield and Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire.
One man was taken to hospital with suspected spinal injuries.
The bus driver said: “I thought ‘Oh my God. This is it.’ I was struggling to keep the coach on the road and braking really hard.
“I saw the coach go up the banking and I could feel it was about to topple over.
“My right shoulder went through the side window and I was convinced I was going to get thrown out. I was absolutely petrified.”
The driver said the passengers “were absolutely brilliant”.
“There was no screaming or shouting… I was amazed everyone walked out of there. I still can’t believe it”, he said.
An Oxford Tube spokesman said: “The incident happened around 2:00 a.m. between Junctions 3 and Junction 2 on the M40 and the double-decker vehicle ended up on its side part way up an embankment.
“Ambulances attended the scene, although thankfully none of the 12 passengers or our driver was seriously injured.
“We understand one passenger was taken to hospital as a precaution for a possible spinal injury, but is expected to be discharged later today.
“We would like to commend the driver for his brave actions in minimizing what could have been a far more serious accident.
“The driver received a shoulder injury as a result of the incident and has naturally been badly shaken by what happened. We have offered him our support as well as any professional counseling he needs.”
Police closed two lanes of the motorway for nine hours while they carried out their investigation.
A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: “One man was arrested from near the scene and he is still in custody.
“He was arrested on suspicion of assault and criminal damage.”