The New York Post:
An MTA bus operator faces dismissal for refusing a federally mandated drug and alcohol test after careening his vehicle off a Bronx overpass Thursday night, transit officials said Friday.
Eight were left injured when the driver of the Bx35 bus veered off a ramp onto the Washington Bridge at around 11:10 p.m. and plunged from the elevated road, according to official accounts.
At the hospital, the driver refused to provide a urine sample in accordance with MTA and federal rules, officials said, despite having blown a 0.0 into a breathalyzer at the scene of the crash.
“The bus operator took a breath test at the scene and passed,” MTA Interim Transit President Sarah Feinberg told reporters at a press conference on Friday.
“Our concern is that he then refused to participate in the FTA-mandated and MTA-mandated drug and alcohol test, which is extremely rare for someone not to cooperate with it, and obviously extremely troubling.”
The crash sent the front half of the “articulated” bus dangling precariously over part of the Cross Bronx Expressway on its windshield, while its rear portion remained grounded on a raised section of University Avenue that leads up to the bridge.
MTA crews removed the vehicle from the expressway at around 7 a.m. on Friday morning, heavily damaged in the front, with the windshield blown out. Blood could be seen on the dashboard.
MTA Chief Safety Officer Pat Warren attributed the severity of the crash to the driver’s high-rate of speed. He said the bus turned at more than quadruple the appropriate pace.
“The bus was going between 17 and 26 mph at the time of the incident. The appropriate speed for taking a turn such as this is between 3 and 4 mph,” Warren said. “Speed is clearly a factor and is obviously of great concern to us.”
The eight people injured included the driver, who has not been officially named. One person was seriously hurt, while the others sustained non-life-threatening injuries, according to the FDNY.
The 55-year-old driver — who suffered bruises, cuts and a broken jaw — is being withheld from service without pay pending further investigation, officials said.