FLUSHING, Queens — A charter bus that blew through a red light in Flushing, Queens Monday and caused a horrific crash that killed three people was traveling at nearly double the posted speed limit, according to federal safety investigators.
National Transportation Safety Board investigator Robert Accetta said in a briefing with reporters Tuesday that a preliminary analysis determined that the bus was moving at between 54 mph and 62 mph at the time of the wreck.
The speed limit on the street in the congested city neighborhood where the crash took place is 30 mph.
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: Raymond Mong, 49, of Queens, was behind the wheel of the charter bus; Gregory Liljefors, 55, of Queens, was a passenger on the MTA bus; and Henry Wdowiak, 68, of Queens, was walking on the sidewalk.
Surveillance video obtained by PIX11 News shows the moment the buses collided.
“These buses spun around. That requires an enormous amount of speed,” MTA chairman Joe Lhota said.
Sixteen people were hospitalized, some in critical condition, after the crash.