The private bus that crashed into an MTA bus on Monday morning in Queens was traveling at about double the speed limit, according to federal authorities.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash and announced the preliminary findings during a news briefing on Tuesday.
According to the investigation thus far, the Dahlia bus that slammed into the side of a city bus at around 6:15 Monday morning was going roughly double the speed limit at the moment it struck the MTA bus.
The Dahlia bus was going about 54 to 62 miles per hour, NTSB officials said. The area where the crash occurred is a 25 mph zone.
The collision was so forceful that it caused the buses to spin around and crash into a building, sparking a small fire and prompting firefighters to shut off that building’s gas lines.
The driver of the Dahlia bus, Raymond Mong, 49, died in the crash. Mong previously drove for the MTA but was fired in 2015 “for cause,” a spokesperson from the transportation authority said. In 2015, Mong received a DUI after rear-ending a car on I-96 in Connecticut.
The bus company itself has a troubled driving record as well, with multiple speeding violations and two prior bus crashes in which two people died and dozens were injured.
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, who represents New York’s sixth Congressional district, including the area in Queens where the crash occurred, said that she has been in touch with the NTSB about the incident and investigation.
“NTSB’s accident report will help determine the cause of the crash and how to prevent tragedies like this from occurring in the future,” she said in a statement. “My thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by the deadly accident, and I will be in close contact with the NTSB as it develops its report and safety recommendations.”