Shocking footage has captured the moment a bus driver came to blows with a shirtless pedestrian after stopping to help a car pulled over on the side of the road.
The bus driver was transporting a group of tourists back from a day trip to Uluru, in the Northern Territory, at 7pm on Monday.
The vehicle was travelling along the Lasseter Highway when the driver spotted a car pulled over on the side of the road with its hazard lights flashing.
The driver stopped the bus so he could get out and assess the situation before things quickly escalated.
Shocked tourists onboard the bus said a family appeared to be arguing and that an intoxicated and shirtless man had stepped in front of the bus as it came to a halt.
Passengers can be heard screaming in video footage of the incident
‘Many passengers were yelling to get back on the bus, he did not respond,’ passenger Raylene Foster told the ABC.
It is understood the young shirtless man boarded the bus requesting a lift to Alice Springs.
Video footage shows the driver yelling for the man to get off as well as screaming and scuffling from passengers onboard the bus.
Passenger Bianca Hammersley said the driver grabbed the man to push him out causing a fight to break out between the pair.
Ms Hammersley said the driver and young man then fell out of the bus and hit the ground with force.
Terrified passengers attempted to break up the fighting pair and begged the driver to take the man to the next town.
After dropping the young man at Curtin Springs, the bus continued to Erldunda Roadhouse, where police were alerted of the incident.
Passengers waited two hours in the heat without air conditioning or lights for another bus company to come to the rescue.
Tasmanian emergency nurse Courtney Hayes said the driver was showing signs of concussion, driving erratically and speaking in an aggressive manner to the tourists on board.
She also said he had eye injuries and potential jaw and lip injuries.
‘Should he have presented to a hospital, this would be a situation where he was unable to drive,’ Ms Hayes said.
Passenger Bianca Hammersley (right) said a young man and bus driver got into a brawl on board the bus before falling out and onto the ground
The passengers said the man was complaining of sore ribs from the heated brawl.
Ms Foster said the bus driver had lost his glasses during the scuffle, and asked passengers to sit at the front of the bus to ‘be his vision’.
‘There was an incident where there were around four cattle on the road that he didn’t see and passengers yelled out,’ she said.
She said passengers were in ‘absolute fear for our lives’.
Ms Hammersley said she and other passengers are still feeling frightened days after the incident.
‘I’m not sleeping very well … waking up in the middle of night just hearing the screaming,’ she said.
The terrifying situation has led to some of the tourists vowing to never to return to Alice Springs again.
Some passengers on board the bus said they would never return to Alice Springs following the terrifying incident (pictured: Uluru)
Emu Run Experience said in a statement to the ABC the bus driver had stopped because he witnessed a ‘violent assault and domestic violence situation’ occurring on the side of the road.
‘[The] driver appropriately assisted to de-escalate the matter and in the course of this action was physically assaulted by an intoxicated individual,’ the company said.
But passengers who witnessed the incident do not believe the situation was domestic violence related.
Some of the disturbed passengers wrote a letter to management expressing their concerns at the erratic behaviour of the driver.
An Emu Run Experience manager in response apologised to the group and assured them an investigation was being conducted ‘to ensure this does not happen again’.
We have never had something like this happen in the six years I have been with Emu Run,’ the email said.
Emu Run Experience said it had reported the matter to Northern Territory Worksafe and Northern Territory Police.
Northern Territory Police said ‘no complaints’ had been made to police from either party involved.