TONOPAH, Ariz. (CBSDFW.COM) — A Dallas-bound bus crashed in Arizona early Thursday morning, leaving numerous people injured, after a passenger attacked the driver, according to state police.
Investigators believe the attack was a "drug-induced" frenzy.
The crash occurred on Interstate 10 in western Arizona near Tonopah around 1:45 a.m. The Arizona Department of Public Safety says the bus was heading east from Los Angeles when the passenger grabbed the wheel, causing the bus to cross the highway median.
"Other passengers on the bus helped subdue him, along with the driver, and prevented him from going into the oncoming lanes," said Officer Carrick Cook with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
The bus did not roll over, but 24 people were injured as the bus traveled along the uneven desert median. Three were airlifted to Phoenix hospitals, including one man who suffered a fractured sternum while restraining the suspect.
Twenty-five-year-old Maquel Donyel Morris of Los Angeles has been arrested and faces 48 counts of felony endangerment, 24 counts of assault and three counts of aggravated assault.
According to Officer Cook, the suspect and his girlfriend fled into the desert following the accident, but returned just 30 minutes later.
"Two firefighters actually had to protect those two from the other passengers who wanted to retaliate against them," said Cook.
Morris was evaluated on the scene and showed signs of impairment by drugs. He was taken into custody by highway patrol.
"There were some reports that this was a terrorism attack," said Cook. "This has nothing to do with that. This is an isolated incident with an individual that's potentially impaired by drugs."