The pickup truck driver was killed in the Long Island collision Tuesday morning, according to Newsday. The driver of the Coach USA bus, 60, and his one passenger, a 38-year-old man, both suffered serious injuries and were transported to the hospital, according to Nassau County police. Both men have been listed in critical condition. Neither the bus driver nor his passenger have been identified; however, the now-deceased driver of the 2006 Dodge Dakota pickup has been identified as Facundo R. Ponce, 43, of Glen Head.
Inspector Kenneth Lack, a Nassau police spokesman, said witnesses advised police that Mr. Ponce was traveling south at high speeds on Roslyn Road near Heathcote Drive at about 9:00 a.m., according to Newsday. The pickup truck crossed into oncoming traffic, crashing nearly head-on into the northbound Coach USA bus.
“It appears the 2006 Dodge may have crossed the double yellow line going southbound,” Lack said. “It was almost in a head-on collision with the bus.” The bus then careened into a tree, he said, Newsday reported.
The accident investigation is in early stages, said Lack. According to police-released news release, the pickup was impounded to undergo safety inspections and the Coach USA bus “was inspected and released,” Newsday wrote.
A woman who witnessed the crash and asked for anonymity said the pickup truck driver passed her on the right just prior to the accident. “He lost control of his truck and went into a spin,” she said. “In the spin, his truck crossed the yellow line and [went] into the bus,” she added, Newsday reported. She said the pickup truck’s engine compartment caught fire.
According to Coach USA North America spokesman, Sean Hughes, the bus involved in the accident is operated by ShortLine, which is a Coach USA company, wrote Newsday. The company’s thoughts are with those involved in the crash, said Hughes.
The bus, which was bound for Patchogue, New York, left Manhattan at 7:15 a.m. carrying one passenger. Lack told Newsday that the driver of the bus attempted to turn right to avoid the crash, which is when the bus hit a tree. The bus’s front pushed against a large tree that was near the fenced-in backyard of a residence, Newsday reported.
In the past two months, there have been two deadly crashes on Roslyn Road. In the last crash, two 19-year-old Mineola men died in a crash in March when their car hit a curb and a tree in the backyard of a home in Roslyn Heights. Steven Clancy, the driver, and his passenger, Javier Gonzalez, were both pronounced dead at the scene on Oak Lane, according to Newsday.
According to detectives, Clancy was driving northbound on Roslyn Road near Locust Lane. He lost control of his 2004 Volkswagen Jetta