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A charter bus driver crashes into a Queens city bus, killing 3

A Queens charter bus driver, who had been previously fired from his job as a driver for New York City's Metro system, crashed into one of his former employer's buses on Monday, Sept. 18. That collision killed two and injured more than a dozen others.

The fatal accident occurred just before 6:15 a.m., at the intersection of Northern Boulevard and Main Street in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens. The Q20 city bus had just finished turning onto Northern Boulevard when the 49-year-old operator of the empty Dahlia Travel and Tours charter bus slammed into it.

The impact of the crash caused the charter bus to become trapped between the right side of the city bus and an adjacent Kennedy Fried Chicken. Soon thereafter, a fire was ignited at the entryway to the restaurant.

One witness to the crash noted that the operator of the charter bus was driving at an accelerated rate of speed along Northern Boulevard immediately proceeding the crash.

That bus operator had previously been fired from his city bus job in 2015 after he left the scene of an Interstate 95 accident. He was later convicted on hit-and-run and drunk driving charges.

The charter carrier he worked for is not immune to problems. At least four of its drivers have been stopped for speeding in the past two years alone. A bus owned by the same company also overturned, injuring 30 of its passengers, during a snowstorm in Connecticut last year.

In this Queens crash, one 68-year-old pedestrian died at the scene after becoming trapped under a bus. A 55-year-old city bus passenger and the charter bus driver, 49, were both transported to the hospital from the crash scene. It's there that they both died. Sixteen others suffered injuries in the crash.

Police continue to investigate the crash. They haven't yet ruled out alcohol or drugs as having played a role in causing the crash.

Bus accidents differ from car crashes in that they often involve significantly more victims, but also differ in terms of liability. With bus crashes, it's quite possible to sue an operator in his or her personal capacity as well as the owner of the bus for any injuries that are suffered. If you've been seriously hurt in a crash, then a Queens, New York, bus accident attorney can advise you of your right to file a lawsuit in your case.

Source: New York Times, "Driver of Charter Bus in Fatal Queens Crash Was Fired by M.T.A.," Sarah Maslin Nir, accessed Oct. 13, 2017

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