NTSB: Bus involved in deadly crash was speeding

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017
NTSB: Bus involved in deadly crash was speeding
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Kemberly Richardson has the latest details on the deadly bus crash in Queens.

FLUSHING, Queens (WABC) -- The National Transportation Safety Board announced Tuesday that the charter bus involved in a deadly crash in Queens was speeding.

The NTSB said at a news conference that the bus was going between 54 and 62 miles per hour when it slammed into an MTA bus in Queens early Monday morning.

The charter bus was being driven by a fired MTA bus driver with a history of driving under the influence. It struck a Q20 bus at Main Street and Northern Boulevard in Flushing around 6:15 a.m.

Video of the crash shows the MTA bus making a right turn onto Northern Boulevard as the Dahlia charter bus blows a red light, hits the bus and careens into a fast-food restaurant. Preliminary analysis of the video shows the bus was traveling from between 54 and 62 mph. That is from a quick evaluation of the video by experts in Washington, D.C.

CLICK TO WATCH: Surveillance video captures bus accident

The NTSB said its performance group assessed the crash site, exchanged info with NYPD crash investigators and received the motorcoach operator log book. They also recovered information from vehicle and confirmed that toxicology samples from motorcoach driver was sent to be analyzed.

Three electronic modules were recovered and will be evaluated at a lab.

PHOTOS: Scene of deadly bus crash in Queens

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Officials said the driver of the charter bus, 49-year-old Raymond Mong, was properly licensed in state of New York and had a valid drivers license. He died in the crash.

Two others, a pedestrian walking to work and a passenger on the MTA bus, were also killed, while several were left in critical condition.

Henryk Wdowiak, 68, was walking to the 7 train on his way to work when he was fatally struck.

"He was a good man, a hard-working man," wife Halina Kurpiewska told Eyewitness News, speaking in Polish. "I am devastated."

Witnesses described a horrific scene.

"It was bad, it was really bad," Mike Ramos said. "I felt the vibrations shake my truck...I saw a guy with a cracked head, a cracked skull open. I saw guys bleeding all over the place...When I ran across the street, there was a woman pinned, screaming in the back of the city bus. I guess she was one of the pedestrians walking on the sidewalk."

Meanwhile, there are new calls for a New York City Council hearing to examine charter bus regulations following the crash. Council member Ydanis Rodriguez said the hearing should also look at redesigning the intersection to improve safety and reduce traffic. New York State Comptroller Scott Stringer said driver fatigue and rules for bus inspections must also be considered.