Paratransit bus driver saves disabled passenger before blaze

PLAINVIEW, N.Y. (AP) — A woman who uses a wheelchair says she’s alive because a New York bus driver carried her to safety when the vehicle’s wheelchair lift lost power as the bus burst into flames.

Jean Jeune had been driving the paratransit bus in Plainview on Long Island Thursday when he smelled smoke.

Flames shot out from the engine as the bus pulled over. Jeune says the flames quickly spread and the wheelchair lift died.

Cindy March, who has spinal weakness and narrowing of the spinal canal, says she screamed, fearing she was about to die.

That’s when Jeune lifted her from the wheelchair and carried her to safety. The bus and the wheelchair were engulfed by the flames within 20 minutes.

Fire officials say they’ll likely never know the cause of the fire.

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