clearn.png
Thursday December 5th, 2019 9:41PM

Officials: Dropped thermos may have caused deadly bus crash

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — A freak accident involving a dropped thermos might have caused a bus crash that killed three people in New York City, federal safety investigators said Thursday.

The National Transportation Safety Board said a thermal bottle could have gotten wedged in the brake and accelerator pedals of the charter bus at the center of the September 2017 crash, preventing the driver from braking.

Investigators said they weren't sure the thermos got stuck but couldn't rule it out. Ultimately, they pegged the probable cause of the wreck as unintentional acceleration and an inability to brake "for reasons that could not be conclusively determined from the information available."

Messages were left Thursday for the bus company, Dahlia Group Inc., and a lawyer who has represented it.

The charter bus blew through a red light at a Queens intersection, slammed into a city bus, barreled across a sidewalk and hit a building, ripping the facade off a fried chicken restaurant and sparking a small fire.

Charter bus driver Raymond Mong, pedestrian Henry Wdowiak and a passenger on the city bus, Gregory Liljefors, were killed. Sixteen other people were injured in the early-morning wreck on Sept. 18, 2017.

It prompted scrutiny of the bus company's safety history and Wong's off-duty driving record, which had cost him a job as a city bus driver.

The NTSB found no problems with the vehicle's accelerator or brake system, and no evidence that Wong's experience, training or activities before the collision played any role in it.

A message was left Thursday at a possible phone number for his wife.

The NTSB found the bus accelerated from the 30 mph (48 kph) speed limit to about 60 mph (97 kph) in about 90 seconds before the crash. Meanwhile, the dashboard camera recorded exclamations from the driver and the sounds of metal rattling.

Then investigators discovered a metal thermal bottle near the vehicle's control pedals.

Experimenting with a similar thermos, they saw the bottle could be lodged between the pedals in such a way that it held down the accelerator while blocking the use of the brake.

Objects on car floors have caused pedal problems before. In 2009, Toyota recalled millions of vehicles because the floor mats could snag the gas pedals and cause sudden acceleration.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Pacific typhoon expected to lash Guam with gusty wind, rain
A growing typhoon in the Pacific is heading toward the Mariana Islands and could lash Guam with strong winds, rain and surf this weekend
2:38PM ( 3 minutes ago )
A global look at the Catholic Church's sex abuse problem
Pope Francis' high-stakes sex abuse prevention summit calls attention to the crisis as a global problem
2:35PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Brigade of volunteers vow to bring aid to Venezuela's needy
President Nicolas Maduro deploys missiles and infantryman to the border bracing for what he claims is a U.S. coup plot disguised as humanitarian aid, as his opponents rally their own troops
2:30PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Police: 'Empire' actor staged attack to 'promote his career'
Police: 'Empire' actor was unhappy with salary and staged attack to further his career
1:57PM ( 44 minutes ago )
Chicago police chief angry over alleged Smollett hoax
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says he's angry and offended that "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett allegedly lied about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack
1:49PM ( 52 minutes ago )
The Latest: Group: Turn Smollett frustration into activism
An LGBTQ rights group is calling on anyone who feels let down by the allegations against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett to channel their disappointment into productive activism
1:49PM ( 52 minutes ago )
AP National News
Pacific typhoon expected to lash Guam with gusty wind, rain
A growing typhoon in the Pacific is heading toward the Mariana Islands and could lash Guam with strong winds, rain and surf this weekend
2:38PM ( 3 minutes ago )
A global look at the Catholic Church's sex abuse problem
Pope Francis' high-stakes sex abuse prevention summit calls attention to the crisis as a global problem
2:35PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Brigade of volunteers vow to bring aid to Venezuela's needy
President Nicolas Maduro deploys missiles and infantryman to the border bracing for what he claims is a U.S. coup plot disguised as humanitarian aid, as his opponents rally their own troops
2:30PM ( 11 minutes ago )
The Latest: TNT shelves Smollett 'Drop the Mic' episode
TNT says it isn't going to air an upcoming episode of "Drop the Mic" featuring "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett "in the interest of not being exploitative of an incredibly sensitive situation"
2:27PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Spain: Pro-secession protesters block roads in Catalonia
Protesters backing Catalonia's secession from Spain clashed with police and blocked roads during a student and worker strike over the trial of a dozen separatist leaders
2:23PM ( 19 minutes ago )