A BUS driver has been hailed a hero after averting a potentially fatal accident.
He and his passengers had a lucky escape when the bus careered down a steep country road and ploughed into a stone wall, shortly after 8am yesterday.
It is thought the Centrebus vehicle, developed problems with its brakes.
Rescuers said that had the driver not steered into the wall, the bus could have run into a busy main road at the height of the rush-hour.
The accident happened as the single-decker bus carrying around 30 commuters was being driven down Far Dene in Highburton.
The driver, a man in his 40s, was trapped in the cab of the number 81 bus for two hours, being cut free from the wreckage by firefighters.
He sustained neck injuries and was taken by ambulance to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
Four passengers, men and women, sustained minor injuries including a man who suffered a knee injury. All made their own way to hospital.
Watch commander Andy Blackburn, of Huddersfield Fire Station, said: “This could have been much worse if it hadn’t been for the quick actions of the driver.
“This is a steep road and if the brakes have failed and he has taken action to avoid ploughing into a main road during rush-hour, he has averted a major tragedy.”
Twenty firefighters spent four hours at the scene, initially stabilising the vehicle using airbags, chains and mechanical restraints to allow paramedics and a doctor to free the trapped driver.
They then had to swill away and decant 200 litres of leaking diesel.