Early in the morning on September 18, two buses in Queens, New York City, collided, killing three and injuring at least 19.
Witnesses were stunned by the violent accident. “It was bad, it was really bad,” witness Mike Ramos told ABC. “I felt the vibrations shake my truck…I saw a guy with a cracked head, a cracked skull open. I saw guys bleeding all over the place…When I ran across the street, there was a woman pinned, screaming in the back of the city bus. I guess she was one of the pedestrians walking on the sidewalk.”
The three victims were identified as 68-year-old pedestrian Henryk Wdowiak and 55-year-old passenger Gregory Liljefors, who were rushed to the hospital but later succumbed to their injuries. Dahlia bus driver Mong died at the scene; it was later discovered that he had been previously employed with the MTA, but was fired in 2015 for drinking on the job.
Later, people gathered at the aftermath, watching as officials cleaned up the smoldering wreckage. As onlookers chatted amongst themselves, Perry Stacks, a passerby, noticed that two men were saying racist comments against Asian people — things like “Chinese people can’t drive“.
Stacks recorded the jeers as they turned into an altercation between the two men and other onlookers.
Stacks later posted the incident on his FaceBook page with the following comment:
“In spite of the major accident on Main St and Northern Blvd today (https://tinyurl.com/yaty6oho). These two guys went off on their racist comments saying Chinese people can’t drive and other racist remarks in front of asians who couldn’t understand them. After the 5-6th time it was enough. Like seriously a few people just died and many were injured. We don’t need that racist negativity here. Although violence is not the answer, I was really heated in the moment.
The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team to investigate the cause of the crash.