Police said a pedestrian, passenger and tour bus driver were killed in a collision with an MTA bus in Flushing, Queens State.
The Dalieh Tourist Bus was traveling east on North Avenue. When it collided with an MTA bus it turned to North Avenue. From Main Street around 6:15 a.m., officials said.
One of the buses also hit a building, which led to a fire. Firefighters took control of the fire soon after. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the building’s safety has been identified.
New York Police said bus driver Dalia Raymond Mong, 49, Gregory Lilgfors, 55, and Pedestrian Henry Dweck, 68, were killed.
Sixteen people were injured, including seven listed, in critical condition in local hospitals. A man was sitting inside a Toyota that had crashed during the collision. His wife said he hit his back and neck.
The NTSB, MTA and NYPD are investigating the accident. The main concern is the speed of the charter bus. The surveillance video shows that it does not appear to be slowing down in the light.
The MTA bus was so hit so hard that it rotated around and stopped facing in the opposite direction. The tour bus stopped at Kennedy Pizza and Chicken. A photo tweeted by District 109 of the NYPD shows buses side-to-side in opposite directions, with the city bus tilting slightly to one side.
Investigators are also looking into the past of the Dahlia bus driver. Mong was arrested in New Haven in 2015 for driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident that injured three people, according to Connecticut State Police records. At the time, he was working for the MTA, which then fired him.
The tour company, Flushing-based Dahlia, has a satisfactory record, according to the Federal Automobile Safety Administration. But the company’s buses have not been inspected in two years, prompting immediate orders out of service.
Dalia ranks the lowest with 13.8 percent of companies nationwide for safety reports; 83 percent of companies are rated higher.