PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A stolen car, an in-service SEPTA bus, and a minivan were all part of a chain reaction crash in Philadelphia's Lawndale section early Thursday morning.
The crash happened shortly before 1:30 a.m. near Unruh and Rising Sun avenues.
Police said a stolen Hyundai careened into a minivan. The minivan then hit the SEPTA bus that had three passengers on board, and then the SEPTA bus crashed into a PNC bank.
"I heard something. I thought it was like a plow scraping in the street," recalled John, who witnessed the crash take place.
John did not feel comfortable sharing his last name or showing his face to Action News crews.
The Hyundai was stolen on April 20 on the 2200 block of Glenview Street, according to police. Investigators say the car fits the description of a car used in multiple robberies.
The driver of the stolen car, who is believed to be in his late teens or early 20s, got out and jumped into a Volkswagen that had been following the stolen Hyundai.
The Volkswagen fled the scene, but an 18-year-old male front-seat passenger was left behind in the stolen car. That passenger was unresponsive and suffering from severe head trauma, police said.
He was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
"There was people coming out of the car screaming, calling the cops, they were trying to break the window," recalled John. "We were trying to get him out because there was smoke coming from the engine. You know, we didn't want a fire to start."
The 31-year-old driver of the minivan was also trapped. The fire department had to remove the driver's door to get to the victim.
John told Action News he was trying to help the unconscious man in the Hyundai when things took a turn. One of the people trying to get into the van took money that was inside.
The minivan driver is a small business owner, and police say someone stole cash out of his minivan while he was trapped in the front seat.
"He went and reached out and got you know, a wad of cash," said John. "I told him 'Put it back,' and he hesitated, then he just took off."
"Our real-time crime cameras caught someone getting in that vehicle and taking something and fleeing the scene. We believe a large amount of cash may have been taken from that minivan while the 31-year-old driver was still trapped inside the vehicle," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small.
The driver of the minivan was listed in stable condition.
The three passengers on the SEPTA bus got out and left. Police said they didn't stay to be witnesses on the scene.
The SEPTA bus driver, who is in his 60s, was taken to the hospital in stable condition.
PECO was called to examine wires that appeared to be damaged from the bus hitting them.
Philadelphia's License and Inspections agency looked at the bank and determined there was no threat of collapse.
"Since this SEPTA bus, it's a very large SEPTA bus, crashed into a bank and did some damage to a wall and a large glass window, we had licenses and inspections come out and check the building to make sure it was still structurally sound," said Small.
Police are still looking for the driver of the stolen vehicle and the male that took the money from the minivan.