Passengers jump in as coach bus driver suffers medical distress on Highway 401

TORONTO — Passengers aboard an Ontario Northland bus are being credited with saving a potentially serious situation on Thursday after the driver suffered medical distress on a busy highway in northwestern Toronto.

The bus was carrying 47 passengers from Sudbury, Ont., to Toronto, when the problem occurred but the bus was pulled over safely, company spokeswoman Renee Baker said.

“The motor coach operator was transported to hospital, where he’s receiving medical attention,” Baker said from North Bay, Ont. “There were no injuries to passengers and no damage sustained to the equipment.”

Baker was unable to say how the bus was brought safely to a stop but one unidentified woman who was on board told television station CP24 that alert passengers saved the day.

The driver began feeling unwell as traffic on the busy highway began slowing, the woman said.

“He slowed the bus down for the traffic and then unfortunately, he passed out for a couple of seconds,” the woman said. “He was slumped over on the side.”

Passengers sitting nearby noticed what was happening and one took the driver’s foot off the gas pedal and helped steer the bus to safety, the witness said.

“We weren’t going very fast at all,” she said.

Baker said an internal investigation was underway and she was unable to say how the bus was brought to safety.

“I don’t know those details,” Baker said. “We haven’t been able to confirm that.”

Another operator was sent to the scene to complete the journey, she said.

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