20-year-old driver killed after crashing into DART bus

Image 1 of 2

One person was killed after a Dallas Area Rapid Transit bus was hit by a car and overturned in west Oak Cliff early Friday morning.

The crash happened around 12:30 a.m. near the intersection of 12th and Polk streets. DART spokesman Mark Ball said the bus was on Route 405 heading south on Polk Street when it was hit by a Dodge Charger that was going west on 12th Street.

Witnesses said the car was speeding. The bus had a green light at the time. When the two collided, the impact was so severe the car burst into flames and the bus overturned.

Kristi Scott rides the same bus with the same driver every night on her way home from her UT-Southwestern job. She thought she wasn’t going to make it home after the violent wreck.

“I heard all this bumping and it was just like we were going over mountains. It was gyration going on and I opened my eyes and all I could see was just twirling and I was like, ‘Lord Jesus,’” Scott said. “We're lying on the side where the door is, so we couldn’t get out the door. There was nowhere to go. I was crawling around, trying to get up to the front -- then two gentleman kicked the windshield out.”

FOX 4 talked to one witness who said he tried to save the driver in the car but the flames were too intense. Another man helped rescue people from the overturned bus.

“At first we couldn’t see who was inside. We just heard somebody screaming, ‘Help! Help!’ And my cousin broke the windshield to get the lady out. Turns out there was two passengers and the bus lady. The bus lady was stuck in the in the chair by the seatbelt so we tried to help her up and tried to unbuckle her,” Pedro Torres said.

The people in the bus were banged up but not seriously hurt, Ball said.

The Dallas County Medical Examiner identified the driver of the car as 20-year-old Jaime Salazar. Some of his loved ones gathered at the scene at one point to try to make sense of what happened.

Scott said she’s thinking about the young driver who died and his family.

“I pray that God give them strength, the strength they need to carry on,” Scott said.

Scott did not get to speak to the men who bravely helped the people on the bus. She says she thanks them and appreciates them for their act of heroism.