An irate passenger aboard a Dallas-bound Greyhound bus allegedly attacked the driver early Thursday morning, causing the bus to crash along Interstate 10 in Arizona, injuring 24.
Maguel Donyel Morris, 25, allegedly attacked the driver shortly before 2 a.m. and tried to grab the steering wheel of the bus, which departed from Los Angeles, as it passed though Tonopah, Ariz. The Arizona Department of Public Safety says the bus crossed the highway median, but came to a stop before entering westbound traffic when other passengers restrained the man who had been pummeling the driver.
"I'm going to flip this bus," Morris allegedly shouted. The bus crossed the highway median and came within inches of going into oncoming traffic at 70 miles an hour, police said.
The extent of the injuries were not immediately clear, but of the 21 taken to hospitals, three were airlifted. Once the bus stopped, Morris and his girlfriend ran into the desert, but returned about 30 minutes later, authorities told MyFoxPhoenix.com.
"I thought we were all gonna die," Chrissy Sanchez told AZFamily.com. "I woke up to this commotion. I remember hearing screaming. ... I realized we were not on the road anymore."
Morris, who is from Los Angeles, has been arrested and will be booked into jail on suspicion of numerous counts of endangerment, assault and aggravated assault, authorities said. Police tell Fox News that Morris has an extensive record in rural Mississippi. He had been charged in 2010 with assaulting a 91-year-old woman who nearly died during a robbery attempt, police said. But was not convicted because his brother did not testify, police said.
A relief bus picked up the remaining passengers and is on its way back to Phoenix. A total of 50 people were on the bus at the time of the crash.
Morris faces charges of 48 counts of felony endangerment, 24 counts of assault and three counts of aggravated assault.
Fox News' William La Jeunesse and The Associated Press contributed to this report