Early in the morning on September 18, 2017, a collision between a New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus and a charter bus run by Dahlia Travel and Tours has left at least three people dead and 16 hurt in Queens.
The collision occurred at approximately 6:15 a.m. in a busy part of downtown Flushing, Queens. The buses were both spun around from the impact. The charter bus hit a restaurant, which started a small fire.
The fatalities included a pedestrian underneath one of the buses, a passenger on the MTA bus, and the charter bus’s driver.
According to an MTA spokesperson, the MTA bus, which was carrying at least 15 passengers, was making a right turn when it was struck by the tour bus. The MTA bus driver, with 10 years of experience, was hospitalized for non-life threatening injuries. Several of the injured passengers were reported in critical condition.
MTA Chair Joe Lhota, who was at the crash scene shortly after it occurred, noted that at this initial stage of inquiry, speeding was a large consideration. The Dahlia bus is suspected of speeding into the MTA bus as it was turning. Witnesses also claim the charter bus ran two red lights while speeding. The MTA, as well as the New York Police Department and Fire Department, are investigating the crash.
News reports indicate that Dahlia Travel and Tours has a poor safety record including violations and accidents. In 2016, a bus owned by Dahlia overturned while driving through the snow and hurt 30 passengers.
Lawyer Neal Goldstein who represents victims in bus crashes, noted, “Although the investigations are at a very preliminary stage if the charter bus was speeding, it could be considered liable for the accident and ensuing damages. Any collision victims should consult a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, who can help you get financial compensation for doctors’ bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.”