French tourist saves bus from careening off cliff in Austrian Alps

A French tourist is being praised for saving a busload of fellow passengers from "catastrophe" after the driver passed out. The bus was on a winding road in the Austrian Alps near Schwaz when the 76-year-old driver collapsed, the BBC reports.

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As the bus was careening toward a precipice, a 65-year-old man sitting near the front jumped from his seat and managed to hit the brakes at the last second, per Le Quotidien.

The bus slammed into a wooden barrier, preventing it from hurling down a slope and over a 328-foot cliff. LQ published a photo of the bus, its front end punctured by the barrier, tilting down a grassy hill.

A local police rep praised the hero passenger's quick reflexes. "We were a hair's breadth from catastrophe," he tells AFP. He calls it "incredible luck" the man managed to stop the bus.

In 2004, five tourists were killed when their bus plunged down a 98-foot embankment south of Salzburg, Austria, the BBC notes. (In related news two dozen seniors in Germany escaped a bus crash in July, but 18 were killed.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: "Man, 65, Saves Busload of Tourists From Tragedy."