KINGSLEY — Michigan State Police said a man hijacked a public bus after a confrontation with the driver, then crashed into another vehicle while attempting to flee.
Authorities said a 24-year-old Luzerne man boarded a Bay Area Transportation Authority bus in the Northland Foods grocery parking lot around 7:40 a.m. Tuesday and attempted to take the fire extinguisher out of its holder. The bus driver feared the man would strike or spray him with the extinguisher, radioed for help and got off the bus, police said.
The man then allegedly stole the bus and attempted to pull out onto M-113, but was then struck by a passenger car driven by a 29-year-old Manton woman.
MSP Lt. Derrick Carroll said the man’s motive remains unknown as police on the scene couldn’t tell “what he was trying to do.”
“Right in front of the store, he pulled out and got hit,” Carroll said.
The woman motorist received minor injuries, but told police she’d seek her own medical care.
It was a different story for the suspect.
“He was uninjured and they took him to jail,” the lieutenant said.
BATA officials said the man was not a scheduled passenger, but someone who walked up to the bus while it was stopped at the store; the driver was not expecting the man’s arrival.
“Our driver was able to get out of the vehicle unharmed,” said Eric Lingaur, BATA’s communications director.
No passengers were onboard at the time of the incident, both police and BATA officials confirmed.
The grant- and taxpayer-supported public transportation agency already put a replacement bus and driver back onto the road, Linguar said, so daily routes won’t be impacted by the theft and wreck.
The vehicle valued at $110,000 is among BATA’s newer buses, a propane-powered cutaway-style Ford F-450. Officials determined the bus will not be salvageable, Lingaur said.