Julane Montgomery: Metro bus driver relives frightening ride after crash knocked her out of her seat

CINCINNATI -- The Metro bus she was driving was hit by an SUV and she was knocked to the floor. The bus went out of control and crashed into a business, then bounced across the street and smashed into a house.

All the while, Julane Montgomery struggled through those terrifying moments trying to pull herself up and put on the brake.

Montgomery suffered a broken leg. But as the bus driver watched video of the incident for the first time Thursday, she said she wasn't thinking about herself.

"Amazing. Wow. Just, just, just not real," Montgomery said as she watched her wild, frightening ride. "I don't even know how to explain it."

Watch the video below and you will understand why Montgomery was at a loss for words.

She was behind the wheel on Gilbert Avenue as her shift ended. The bus was empty as she headed for the garage.

"Nice day. Ready to get off work. Looking in my mirrors. Checking everything," she remembers.

Suddenly, she sees a white van coming down Chapel Street, and everything changes.

"He's coming pretty fast.  Thinking he's going to stop.  And, ooohh -- wheee -- he didn't," Montgomery said.

"The next thing you know, I hear 'Boom.'

" 'Wham.' "

The bus veers off the road into a building.

"I fall on the floor and about that time I hear everything crashing. Trying to get up," she said.

The bus richochets across Gilbert Avenue, nearly hits a car, and sends a pedestrian running for his life before going back across the street.

"I felt my ankle pain," she said.

"Trying to get up.  Trying to stop the bus somehow.  Wow.  Push the pedal -- the brake pedal.  Didn't stop.  See a wall.  Get back on the floor.  That's -- whooo -- impact.

"Oh, man.  All over the floor.  Wow and pain."

Montgomery said the only thing on her mind was the safety of others on the street.

"I wanted to stop that bus because I was concerned about other people getting hurt than myself," she said.

Her son, Marvin, is amazed that she wasn't hurt more seriously.

"I'm just blessed to have a mother who is still here," he said.  "I mean, it could have been worse.  Like I said, I'm just truly blessed that she's still around another year for Mother's Day."

Montgomery calls her survival -- and the fact nobody else was hurt --  a miracle with a little help from above.

"Whoo, God.  I believe my mother and father were watching over me.  Yes, I had angels -- two angels that I know by name," she said.

Montgomery is thankful but angry at Dequinn Greer, the driver who hit her bus.

"I just want to know what he was thinking about.  What was going on?  Was he paying attention?  Or, why?  My son could have been without a mom.

"I do have an older daughter, but my son -- that's the main -- he could have been without a mother.""

Greer agreed to an on-camera interview, but he didn't show up at the agreed time and place.

Greer was charged with driving with a suspended license and running a stop sign. He goes to court this month.

Montgomery says she's not sure she wants to drive a bus again.
   
State and federal policies don't require transit drivers to wear seatbelts, and Metro lets drivers decide for themselves.
  
Metro is reconsidering its policy in that area.

RELATED: Driver's leg broken, building, home damaged in Metro bus accident


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