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updated: 8/6/2014 8:21 PM

Police: Bus driver may have been high at time of Times Square crash

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  • Emergency personnel respond to a collision between two double-decker buses on New York City's Times Square, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. The Theater District accident injured 13 people, three of them seriously.

      Emergency personnel respond to a collision between two double-decker buses on New York City's Times Square, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. The Theater District accident injured 13 people, three of them seriously.
    Associated Press/ New York City Fire Department

 
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The driver of a double-decker sightseeing bus may have been high on drugs when his vehicle plowed into a Times Square plaza teeming with hundreds of tourists, shoppers and theater-goers, police said Wednesday.

There was no evidence that William Dalambert, of Irvington, New Jersey, had been drinking, but he was arrested after he failed a sobriety test, police said.

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The results of urine and blood tests to determine whether he had used prescription or illegal drugs were pending, they said.

Dalambert was to be arraigned on Wednesday on charges of driving while impaired. The name of his lawyer wasn't immediately available.

Dalambert was at the wheel of a Gray Line bus that crashed into another double-decker tourist bus on Tuesday before traveling onto a sidewalk at Duffy Square, the location for the TKTS discount Broadway ticket booth.

The accident sent 14 people to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Dalambert's driving record includes 20 suspensions, though motor vehicle records show all of his privileges had been restored and he has a valid New Jersey license, according to state motor vehicle spokeswoman Sandy Grossman. His record includes license suspensions for non-payment of child support, uncompleted paperwork and fines on top of previous violations for not paying insurance, Grossman said.

He has a commercial license to carry passengers and endorsements to drive a number of other vehicles, including a motorcycle, a tanker, double and triple trailers and school buses, Grossman said.

There was no immediate response to a phone message left on Wednesday with Gray Line. On Tuesday, a spokesman for Gray Line's parent company said, "Our hopes and prayers are with the injured, and we are cooperating with the authorities."

Manhattan has seen a proliferation of the double-decker buses since 2005, when there were eight bus companies. Now there are 14 bus companies, operating more than 260 buses, but accidents are rare.

On June 18, a woman was struck by a City Sights double-decker tourist bus in Greenwich Village and was seriously injured.

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