Dec. 19: A charter bus sits perpendicular across a side street and with it's front end tangling over
Seattle - Two chartered buses slid down an icy, snow-covered cobblestone street and crashed through a guardrail Friday, stopping just before they would have plummeted onto the freeway 20 feet below.

The front end of the first bus dangled above Interstate 5 for hours before a tow-truck managed to pull it from the edge.

"I grabbed the person next to me and prayed to God we didn't fly," said passenger Stephanie Jackson of Spanaway.

The buses were carrying about 80 young adults from a job training program in Moses Lake, in central Washington, to a downtown Seattle bus terminal. It was their first day of winter break, one passenger said.

Eleven young adults were taken to Harborview Medical Center with minor injuries from debris and flying glass, said Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman Helen Fitzpatrick. Two others with minor injuries did not want to go.

The passengers jumped or climbed out emergency windows before aid crews arrived.

Fitzpatrick said neither bus had been in danger of falling from the high bulkhead next to the freeway.

The state Department of Transportation closed the freeway lanes below. By evening, tow trucks had pulled both buses back from the edge.

Seattle Police Department spokeswoman Renee Witt said the bus drivers were looking for a way to avoid steeper streets that had been closed because of snow and ice. As soon as the first bus turned onto the street, it slid all the way down the hill, through the intersection and into the guardrail above the freeway, Witt siad.

The bus stopped with two wheels hanging over the freeway. The second bus followed the first, sliding down the hill and into the guardrail to the side of the first bus.

Several passengers said the second bus pushed the first farther over the edge.

"There was just panic everywhere," said passenger Jesse Till, 20. "I don't think I should be here right now, but I'm really happy that I am."

Additional photos.