Bus crash caught on three traffic cameras

July 29, 2011 4:08:55 AM PDT
In video caught on traffic light cameras, a cargo van slammed into an N-43 bus on Hempstead Turnpike and sent it careening through the wall of a McDonald's.

Police say the van's driver, 42-year-old Richard Santiago of Hempstead, was drunk and had no license when he flew down Hempstead Turnpike past Hofstra University and T-boned the bus.

The entire crash was captured by three red light cameras.

"I don't like to use the word 'accident' because when you run a red light and you hit somebody, it's a crash, it's not an accident," former Nassau Judge John Marks said.

Marks runs the county's traffic and parking violations bureau, where every day workers look over video from 152 cameras at Nassau's 50 most dangerous intersections, catching red light runners red handed.

Official stats are due out in the next few weeks, but since the first cameras appeared two years ago, Nassau leaders say red light-related incidents are down across the county.

And while the cameras did not prevent this demolition derby, they did capture the violent wreck, all the more astonishing for the fact that no one was seriously hurt.