The information in this report is preliminary and will be supplemented or corrected during the course of the investigation.
On Monday, September 18, 2017, about 6:16 a.m. eastern daylight time (EDT), a New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) 38-passenger transit bus was traveling northbound on Main Street approaching the intersection with Northern Boulevard in the Queens borough of New York City, New York. The intersection was controlled by a traffic signal, which was displaying a green right-turn arrow for northbound traffic on Main Street. At the same time, a 2015 MCI, 56-passenger motorcoach, operated by Dahlia Group Inc., was traveling eastbound on Northern Boulevard (see figure 1). As the transit bus began turning right onto Northern Boulevard, the motorcoach did not stop at the red traffic signal and it struck the transit bus at the left rear (see figure 2).
During the collision sequence, the transit bus rotated about 180 degrees counter-clockwise. It then struck and pushed an unoccupied parked passenger car into another parked passenger car, which was occupied by a driver and front-seat passenger, before coming to rest (see figure 3). The motorcoach departed the roadway, crossed over the sidewalk, and crashed into a building on the southeast corner of the intersection before coming to rest. Three pedestrians were struck during the collision sequence.
The transit bus was occupied by the driver and 16 passengers. The driver was the sole motorcoach occupant. As a result of the crash, the motorcoach driver, a passenger on the transit bus, and one pedestrian died. The transit bus driver, 15 transit bus passengers, two pedestrians, and the two occupants of the parked car sustained injuries ranging from minor to serious.
Figure 1. Map of the intersection of Northern Blvd. and Main St. in New York, NY, showing the location of the surveillance camera
(Source: Google Maps).
Figure 2. Still images from a surveillance camera mounted on the southwest corner of the intersection.
(Source: Computer Street)
Figure 3. Eastbound view of the transit bus (on the left) and motorcoach (on the right) at final rest.
(Source: MTA New York City Transit)
During the on-scene phase of the investigation, NTSB investigators conducted 3D laser scans of the damaged motorcoach, the transit bus, and the accident site. Investigators also interviewed the transit bus driver and some of the transit bus passengers, and inspected records maintained by both the MTA and the motor carrier. NTSB investigators will continue to collect and analyze data including all pertinent information in the areas of human performance, survival, highway, vehicle, and motor carrier operations.
All aspects of the crash remain under investigation as the NTSB determines the probable cause, with the intent of issuing safety recommendations to prevent similar crashes.