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Manhattan DA not pursuing charges in Times Square bus crash

Kemberly Richardson reports on the DA's decision not to pursue charges at this time against the driver of a bus that crashed in Times Square
Thursday, August 07, 2014
The Manhattan District Attorney is currently not pursuing any charges at this time against the Gray Line bus driver who slammed into another bus and a light pole in Times Square on Tuesday, in an accident that left more than a dozen people hurt.

Authorities say preliminary drug and alcohol tests came back negative.

William Dalambert, 58, of Irvington, N.J., was arrested at the scene because he failed his field sobriety test and was expected to be charged with DWAI, even though he passed a Breathalyzer test. A full drug and alcohol screen is pending.

"We are taking this matter seriously," DA Office spokeswoman Joan Vollero said in a statement. "(Prosecutors) are conducting a thorough investigation." The D.A.'s Office will delay its decision of whether to prosecute in the crash until it can investigate further.

Police said there was no evidence Dalambert had been drinking, but the sobriety test failure led the department to float the theory that he may have been high on drugs when he sideswiped a GMC Yukon and a CitySights bus before ending up the on the sidewalk.

Dalambert, who was released from custody late Wednesday night, reportedly told officers that his bus had no brakes. On his way out, he insisted he had not taken any drugs, illegal or prescription, and denied accusations he was driving while impaired.

The buses were inspected and no mechanical deficiencies were found, and a state official says both the buses passed their routine semiannual inspections required by the state Transportation Department in April.

Dalambert's driving record is less than stellar. He holds a New Jersey commercial license and has no active points on his record. But in July of last year, he was cited for using a cell phone while driving. Then in December, he was stopped for driving without a license, registration or insurance. Records also show that even though he had a current valid license at the time of the accident, his license had been suspended 20 times since 1993.

The collision happened in the southbound lanes on Seventh Avenue, on the east side of the TKTS booth.

VIEW PICTURES FROM THE SCENE:


The force of the crash brought down a light pole into the plaza next to the booth, and frightening video captured terrified pedestrians running for their lives.

Officials say 14 of the injured were on foot at the time, including a child in a stroller. Five were hit by the light pole, and the other nine by debris. The other injured person was a tour guide on the Gray Line bus. None of the injuries is life-threatening.

Dalambert is a New Jersey licensed commercial driver with no active points on his record. He has 20 administrative suspensions since June 1993 that began with problems with his vehicle insurance. His most recent violations are for driving while using a cell phone and driving without a license/registration/insurance, both in 2013.

PRESS CONFERENCE ON ACCIDENT:


A witness said the tour bus was coming down Seventh Avenue when she had to grab her daughter out of the way before the buses collided. "The bus came at a very high rate of speed and landed right near my daughter," she said.

One of the drivers had to be extricated. The glass in the front of one bus was shattered, and was strewn on the pavement.

Seventh Avenue was closed from 47th Street to 52nd Streets for hours after the crash. All of the injured were taken to Mount Sinai Roosevelt for treatment.



Rose Cantillon was visiting the city from Ireland and was nearby. "I was sitting on a bench, and I turned around and heard screaming, and I ran," she said.

EARTHCAM VIDEO OF POLE FALLING:
Related Topics:
traffic bus accident times square dwi Times Square New York City
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