Man, 65, Saves Busload of Tourists From Tragedy

Police laud passenger's quick reflexes after driver collapses in Austrian Alps
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2017 3:33 AM CDT
Updated Sep 25, 2017 11:20 AM CDT
Tourist Saves Bus From Cliff Disaster
Traffic makes its way along a steep road in the Alps.   (AP Photo/David Azia)

(Newser) – 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. 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 hurtling 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. (Two dozen seniors in Germany escaped a bus crash in July, but 18 were killed.)

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