The speeding driver who ran a red light and caused a deadly bus crash in Queenshad been down this road before.
Fifteen months before Raymond Mong, 49, plowed a tour bus into an MTA bus, killing himself and two others, Mong steered a car past a red light in Queens and plowed into a van.
Mong, who had already been busted for drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident in Connecticut, was driving along College Point Blvd. in Queens when he failed to stop at a light.
Moments later, his car collided with a vehicle being driven by Laurence Torres, who was traveling along 22nd Avenue shortly before 6 a.m. on his way to work at an advertising firm.
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Out the blue, he just comes and theres no way I could stop, Torres recalled. Hes already basically in the middle of the street, so I hit him, direct on.
Torres, 37, escaped injury, but not amazement when he got a look at Mongs wrecked vehicle, and noticed a breath test device for unlocking the ignition.
Officials said Mong was required to use the device, the result of a DUI arrest in Connecticut that cost him his job as an MTA bus driver.
Torres recalled his collision with Mong after learning of Mondays bus crash.
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It was not clear if Mong, who was operating a bus for Dahlia Group Inc. of Flushing, Queens, was still required to use the device when he drove, but it was almost certain he should not have been behind the wheel when he crashed into a Q20 bus in Flushing Monday, the same bus his 16-year-old daughter rides.
That really shocked me, Torres said. That guy is actually driving a bus, endangering other peoples lives. Its crazy to imagine that New York State would allow him to have a driver’s license with that type of record. Someone like that shouldnt be driving at all.