FLUSHING, Queens — Speed may have been a factor in a deadly collision in Flushing early Monday between an MTA bus and a private charter bus.
National Transportation Safety Board officials are headed to the scene, at Main Street and Northern Boulevard, to join the investigation, according to a spokesperson.
Officials have not definitely said what caused the crash.
This is what we know about the collision so far:
An MTA bus with 15 people on board collided with a private charter bus operated by Dahlia Group Inc. around 6:18 a.m.
The Dahlia bus was traveling east on Northern Boulevard, and the MTA bus was headed north on Main Street when the city bus attempted to turn right onto Northern, officials said at a morning news conference.
That’s when the buses collided, sending one into a building that then briefly caught fire.
Three men were killed: Gregory Liljefors, 55, of Queens, was a passenger on the MTA bus; Henry Wdowiak, 68, of Queens, was walking on the sidewalk; and Raymond Mong, 49, of Queens, was behind the wheel of the charter bus, police said.
Speed appears to be a factor, according to Joe Lhota, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Surveillance video obtained by PIX11 News shows the moment the buses collided.
“These buses spun around. That requires an enormous amount of speed,” Lhota said.
PIX11 has obtained exclusive images of the Dahlia bus’ speedometer, which shows it stuck at 60 mph. Investigators said they are cataloging it as evidence.
The charter bus company involved in the collision, the Dahlia Group, has a history of speeding violations and at least two fatal crashes in its background.
A source told PIX11 News that the Dahli driver, Mong, was fired from the MTA in 2015.
While Lhota noted speed during a morning news conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the investigation is ongoing, and it is not yet clear who, if anyone, is at fault.
Sixteen people were hospitalized, some in critical condition, after the crash.
The MTA bus driver is being interviewed, and is among those hospitalized.