Nineteen commuters didn’t make it to work Monday morning in Queens. Three of those will never punch a time clock again.
Tragedy struck at dawn on September 18th, when an MTA bus and a Dahlia Travel & Tours bus collided at the intersection of Northern Boulevard and Main Street. A pedestrian on the sidewalk was crushed and pronounced dead at the scene. The Dahlia bus’s driver and a passenger on the MTA bus died at a nearby hospital. Sixteen others were injured in the accident, several of them critically. One of the buses crashed into a fried chicken restaurant on the corner, starting a fire inside.
It’s amazing how lives can be permanently altered in just a matter of seconds. You can be on your way to work, riding on the same bus you’ve taken thousands of times before. The next thing you know, you’re waking up in the hospital, in pain, racking up medical bills you and your family will never be able to pay. Are you going to have to pillage your retirement? Your children’s college fund? What if your injuries prevent you from returning to your occupation—how will you pay your mortgage?
Even worse, you could get the phone call no one wants to get, telling you that your spouse has been killed. Suddenly, the future you planned together has evaporated.
It’s stunning when you realize how one person’s negligence can impact the lives of so many others. The workers at the fried chicken restaurant are going to miss, at least, a week of work. How are they going to feed their families? Fault for the crash has yet to be assigned, but Dahlia Travel & Tours was involved in a fatal accident in 2016 and its drivers have been cited numerous times.
As inhabitants of New York City, we at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, mourn the death and devastation this accident caused. We urge every New Yorker to take a moment before heading off on the morning commute to consider the best safety practices. Sometimes, there are small steps you can take to keep yourself (and everyone else) just a little safer. Please remember, there are many lives at stake in our bustling city.