A woman was hospitalized and several people aboard a Greyhound bus complained of injuries and smoke discomfort after the bus began to fill with smoke on I-95 in Palm Coast, then was rear-ended by another car at the State Road 100 exit in Palm Coast just after 11 a.m. today.
No passengers were hospitalized, but several were treated at the scene by paramedics. The woman who was sent to nearby AdventHospital Palm Coast was one of two women in the sedan that rear-ended the bus as it stopped at a light at the southbound off-ramp from I-95.
Flagler County Fire Rescue’s Lenny Ensalaco said the smoke from the bus was so thick that the driver behind the bus did not see the bus itself in time to stop, and crashed. The vehicle sustained severe front-end damage.
The crash combined with reports of a fire on board the bus at first alerted authorities to an incident of greater magnitude, though it proved to be nowhere near what responders initially feared.
Pedro Ynigo, a 40-year-old passenger whose arm was in a sling after the crash (his was among the more notable injuries referenced by dispatchers), said the bus had been traveling south on I-95 when smoke started filling the cabin. Another passenger said the smoke first appeared about five miles north of the State Road 100 exit, what would have been around Palm Coast Parkway. Ynigo said the driver pulled over on the highway. “He thought it was somebody smoking,” he said. “I was sitting right under the AC when it started to smoke.”
The bus then drove on and pulled off at State Road 100, where “the girl hit the bus really hard,” Ynigo said of the driver of the car.
Passengers did not report seeing flames, only smoke coming out of the air conditioning vents.
The crash took place at 11:11 a.m. By 11:21, according to 911 notes, rescuers were reporting “14 grn no yellow and no red,” and a “level 2 MCI,” using the acronym for a mass-casualty incident. But the 14 greens indicated no serious injuries. The Florida Highway Patrol arrived at the scene at 11:48 and took over the investigation from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. Flagler County Fire Rescue, the Palm Coast Fire Department and the Flagler Beach Fire Department responded to the scene, as did the Palm Coast Fire Police.