A Greyhound passenger attacked the driver on a moving bus early Thursday in Arizona, police said, sending the vehicle on a jostling ride that injured 24 people. But quick-acting passengers helped prevent what could have been a gruesome outcome, authorities said.
The assailant approached the driver, hit him and tried to take control of the wheel as the bus headed east on Interstate 10 around 1:45 a.m. roughly 50 miles west of Phoenix, police said. That sent the vehicle bouncing across an uneven median, Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Carrick Cook said.
Other passengers jumped to their feet, subdued the attacker and helped the driver stop the bus in the median, just seconds before it would have barreled head-on into other vehicles, police said.
"This thing traveled about 300 feet in the median, bouncing up and down, and that's where the injuries occurred," Cook said. " ... I think the officer (at the scene) said it was about 6 feet from going into oncoming traffic."
Police said they believe the attacker was Maquel Donyel Morris, 25. He fled into the desert, but returned 30 minutes later and was arrested, Cook said.
It wasn't immediately clear what led to the attack, Cook said.
Among the injured, one suffered fractures to the lower body, and one sustained a back injury, Cook said. At least 21 were taken to hospitals, he said.
No immediate public statement was made on Morris' behalf.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday said he was "embarrassed and humiliated" by the conduct of "some people on my team" over an unfolding political scandal, saying he knew nothing of their activities to apparently punish a local mayor by creating traffic jams in and around his community.
Christie, who apologized to the town of Fort Lee and the residents of the state, said he fired a senior aide at the center of the scandal involving abuse of authority that political commentators suggest could mean bigger problems for the potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016.
"I am stunned by the abject stupidity that was shown here regardless of what the facts ultimately uncover. This was handled in a callous and indifferent way," he told a news conference about the orchestration of traffic jams near the George Washington Bridge through a transportation agency.
Christie gave anyone with knowledge of the incident that affected Fort Lee, commuters, and apparently public safety over several days in September to come forward with information.
"I am responsible for what happens under my watch - the good and the bad," he said.
But the governor said he had no knowledge or involvement of this issue in its planning and its execution.
"I knew nothing about this," he told a news conference.
He said he was "digging in" and asking questions to find out what occurred.
This holiday season just got a lot merrier for two insanely lucky people.
Two tickets matched the winning numbers in Tuesday night's $636 million Mega Millions jackpot - splitting the second largest prize in U.S. history.
One winning ticket was sold in Atlanta, and the other was sold in San Jose, California, lottery officials said.
The winning numbers were 8, 14, 17, 20 and 39, with a Megaball of 7. Twenty ticket holders will win $1 million after matching all the numbers except the Megaball.
Strong sales boosted the jackpot to $636 million from the previous estimate of $586 million, lottery officials announced late Tuesday morning.
That's tantalizingly close to the U.S. record - a $656 million Mega Millions jackpot split by three winning tickets in March 2012.
This jackpot was so large in part because Mega Millions became tougher to win. The prize rises with each miss, and no one won it since organizers increased the pool of numbers to choose from - making astronomical odds even longer - in October.
Virginia Lottery Executive Director Paula Otto spoke on "New Day" Wednesday and she had some advice for the two main winners.
Otto said: "Sign your ticket, sign it a couple of times, make certain it is in a very safe place. And perhaps, consult with some legal or some financial folks, before you officially come forward to claim that prize."