3 dead, 16 injured in 2-bus collision in Queens

- A pedestrian, a passenger, and the driver of a tour bus were killed in a collision with an MTA bus in Flushing, Queens, Monday morning, police said.

The Daliah tour bus was traveling east on Northern Blvd. when it crashed into an MTA bus turning onto Northern Blvd. from Main St. at about 6:15 a.m., officials said.

One bus also struck a building, sparking a fire. Firefighters got the fire under control a short time later. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the safety of the building was being determined Monday.

Dahlia bus driver Raymond Mong, 49, MTA bus passenger Gregory Liljefors, 55, and pedestrian Henry Wdowiak, 68, were killed, the NYPD said.

Sixteen people were injured including seven people listed in critical condition at local hospitals. A man was sitting inside a Toyota that was crushed during impact. His wife said he hurt his back and neck.

The NTSB, the MTA, and the NYPD are investigating the crash. The main concern is the speed of the charter bus. The surveillance video shows that it did not appear to slow at the light.

The MTA bus was hit with so much force that it was spun around and stopped facing in the opposite direction. The tour bus wedged into Kennedy Pizza and Chicken. A photo tweeted by the NYPD's 109th Precinct shows the buses side-by-side facing opposite directions, with the city bus slightly tilted to one side.

Investigators are also looking into the dahlia bus driver's past. Mong was arrested in New Haven in 2015 for driving under the influence and leaving the scene of a crash that injured three people, according to records from the Connecticut State Police. At that time, he was working for the MTA, which then fired him.

The tour company, Flushing-based Dahlia Inc., has a satisfactory record, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. But the company's buses haven't been inspected in two years, resulting in immediate out-of-service orders.

Dahlia is in the lower 13.8 percent of companies nationwide for safety reports; 83 percent of companies are higher rated.

Back in February 2016, a Dahlia bus that flipped onto its side, injuring 30 on Interstate 95 North in Connecticut.

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