Driver Killed in NYC Bus Crash Was Fired by MTA After East Haven DUI - NBC Connecticut
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Driver Killed in NYC Bus Crash Was Fired by MTA After East Haven DUI

The charter bus operator has also been involved in a number of previous fatal crashes

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    I-Team reporter Pei-Sze Cheng reports on the troubled past of Dahlia, the charter company that owned the bus that slammed into an MTA bus on Monday morning.

    (Published Monday, Sept. 18, 2017)

    The driver behind the wheel of a charter bus that plowed into an MTA bus Monday morning had been fired as a New York City bus driver after a 2015 hit-and-run DUI arrest, the I-Team has learned. 

    Raymond Mong -- who was killed in the Flushing, Queens, crash that also left two others dead and more than a dozen others injured -- was fired by the MTA after the April 10, 2015, crash on Interstate 95 near East Haven, Connecticut, according to transit sources. 

    According to a police report, Mong was behind the wheel of a 2002 Honda Accord that slammed into a Chevy Tahoe on an exit ramp, causing the SUV to bump into a Volkswagen Jetta. 

    Mong allegedly drove off after the crash, according to the report; state troopers found the man afterward and booked him on a bevy of charges including driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, leaving the scene of an accident and following too closely.

    It's not clear if Mong was convicted of the charges; he was fired the year of the crash with cause, according to the MTA.

    Also unclear is when Mong went to work at Dahlia, the troubled company that owned the bus involved in Monday's crash. 

    According to federal records, Dahlia drivers have been cited for at least eight safety violations, including failing to obey a traffic signals, speeding and unlawful parking in the roadway in the last year.

    One of the company's buses was also involved in a February 2016 crash that left one person dead and 36 others. The bus was en route from Manhattan to the Mohegan Sun casino in eastern Connecticut when it overturned on a snow-covered Interstate 95 east of New Haven. 

    The company also owned a bus involved in a fatal  2003 crash on the Garden State Parkway. In that instance, the bus was heading from Manhattan's Chinatown to Atlantic City, again on a snowy day, when it slipped off the highway and overturned. Two people were killed and more than two dozen others were hurt. 

    The company's troubled history led U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, who represents the part of Queens where the buses crashed on Tuesday, to question why Dahlia is still in business.

    "We will definitely take a look at that," she said. "And if there's more stringent standards that need to be put in place, we'll work with the city and the state."

    The company has not responded to News 4's requests for comment.