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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
Three people were killed and 16 others were injured, six of them critically, when a charter bus struck a New York City bus in Flushing, Queens, New York, early Monday morning, according to Newsday, a Long Island-based newspaper.
The high-speed collision sent a Dahlia Travel and Tours bus and a Metropolitan Transit Authority city bus crashing into a fast food restaurant and a cell phone company store on the corner of Northern Boulevard and Main Street. Both buses sustained substantial damage. The collision also sparked a small fire that was quickly extinguished.
The accident killed the 49-year-old driver of the Dahlia bus and a A 55-year-old man aboard the bus, said the New York Daily News. A 68-year-old pedestrian was pinned under one of the buses and pronounced dead at the scene, according to NYPD Assistant Chief Juanita Holmes.
“Just shocking – you see the scene over there,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news briefing at the accident scene. “Hard to compare to anything I’ve ever seen – the sheer destruction from the impact of this collision.”
The wrecked tour bus’s speedometer was stuck at 60 mph.
Witnesses Said the Tour Bus Ran Two Red Lights
The driver of the tour bus blew through two red lights before crashing into the MTA bus, witness Sheila Baez told Newsday. She was driving home with her boyfriend when the tour bus sped past her. “He just flew right by us,” she added. “We were stopped at the red light and he just ate that red light.”
“The tour bus was flying,” said Mike Ramos, a construction superintendent who was sitting in his truck nearby. “When they collided, I felt the vibration,” he told the Daily News.
Since 2015, Queens-based Dahlia has been cited for seven unsafe driving violations, including five for speeding, the Daily News said.