Video of the incident released Friday appears to show a passenger striking the driver in the face, prompting him to hit back before veering into oncoming traffic and barreling through barriers on the side of the bridge.
Surveillance footage showed the bus veered across the lanes, hit a vehicle, demolished a section of Yangtze River No 2 bridge's barrier and plunged into the river, where the water is about 70 metres [230 feet] deep.
Police said they pieced together what happened based on footage from the on-board recorder, which was recovered by divers, as well as 2,300 hours of surveillance videos along the bus route and numerous witness accounts. However, Liu did not get off and later asked the driver to stop the bus when she realized she missed her destination.
The female passenger started quarrelling with the driver after she missed her stop, according to Wanzhou district police. All 15 people onboard are presumed dead.
When the 43-year-old driver, also identified by his last name, Ran, refused, Liu hit him over he head with her cell phone.
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Another said that the driver was to blame because he "deliberately turned the wheel to the left".
The bus suddenly veered into the wrong lane and collided with an oncoming auto on Sunday in Chongqing before it drove off the bridge.
The Wanzhou police statement said the behaviour of the driver and the passenger seriously endangered public safety and violated the law.
A floating crane pulled the wreckage of the bus from the river, Wednesday evening, after it sank to a reported depth of 70 meters (230 feet) underwater. The driver took his right arm off the steering wheel and fought back. Thirteen bodies have been found and two remain missing, the official Xinhua news agency said.