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‘Protect the Passengers at All Times’: VTA Bus Driver Helps Riders Safely Escape During Fiery San Jose Crash

An SUV slammed into a VTA bus Monday afternoon in San Jose, causing both vehicles to catch fire and leaving live powerlines dangling over the top of the bus.

The fiery collision occurred in the area of King Road and Cunningham Avenue, near San Jose Fire Department's Station 16.

Witnesses tell NBC Bay Area the collision sent the bus careening into a power pole. It appears the SUV was coming around a corner before colliding into the bus, witnesses said.

Emergency crews respond to a fiery crash in San Jose involving a VTA bus.

Bus driver John Ashley said he went immediately into rescue mode.

"I was definitely thinking about the safety of the passengers," Ashley said. "I got everybody out when I saw the fire. Just doing what I'm trained to do -- protect the passengers at all times."

Nine passengers were onboard the bus, mostly seniors. Several people complained of pain, but no one was transported to the hospital, according to police. They were all checked out at the nearby fire station before another bus picked them up. 

It is still unclear if the driver of the SUV will be cited. Officials said they did not suffer any serious injuries in the collision.

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