A BUS driver had a miraculous escape when his vehicle plunged off a road falling 30 feet onto a road below.

The empty bus crashed as it was leaving the bus stand at Crystal Palace Parade.

Sergeant Tony Wells of Croydon Traffic Garage said the No 2 bus, from Crystal Palace to Brixton, had driven out of the stand and driven straight across the road, hitting a parked car before ploughing through a wall and over the precipice.

The double decker smashed head-first into the ground and hit Kings Colleges Bowley Close Rehabilitation Centre.

Although an air ambulance flew directly to the scene, the still conscious driver was rushed to Kings College Hospital by road.

Taxi driver Mario Louiza, 24, who was nearby when the accident happened, said: Everybody heard the noise. It was colossal. The bus took a car out. It took down a barrier, smashed through a brick wall and landed 30ft down.

Within minutes all the emergency services were on the scene and police cordoned off Crystal Palace Parade from College Road.

The back end of the parked car, a grey Peugeot, was completely smashed and a small pile of rubble was all that remained of the brick wall.

Both the police and Arriva buses immediately started inquiries into the accident but they declined to comment on the cause of the accident.

At time of going to press, the extent of the bus drivers injuries were not known.

An Arriva spokesman said: We are very concerned about the condition of the driver and we are monitoring his situation very carefully. It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the cause of the accident until our investigations are complete.