An experienced Nassau Inter County Express bus driver attempting to avoid striking a pedestrian, slammed into a Hempstead home, which fatally pinned a 6-year-old child and injured about a dozen people Tuesday night, Nassau County police said.
Officials said just after 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night, a Route N70 bus was treaveling westbound along Fulton Avenue near Tennessee Avenue in Hempstead, when the 50-year-old driver noticed a man in the roadway. The driver honked the horn of the bus three times in an attempt to warn the 35-year-old unidentified man, who police said was not walking in the crosswalk. The man continued to walk toward the moving bus, causing the driver to perform an evasive maneuver and veer right, a police spokesman said at the scene.
The bus then struck the curb, striking the pedestrian before careening into a residence at 505 Fulton Avenue. A 6-year-old child, David Granados, was asleep in the front bedroom of the home and was struck by structural debris when the bus collided with the home, authorities said. Hempstead Police and Fire crews were joined by Nassau Police ESU officers and Medical Technicians as they extracted the young child from the debris. Another child, 7, was also in the room at the time. He sustained minor injuries to his arms and was taken to an area hospital.
With his parents at his side, 6-year-old David Granados was pronounced dead by hospital staff at Winthrop University Hospital, police said. The 7-year-old child and 35-year-old man were both admitted to the hospital. Their conditions were not immediately known.
There were 11 people on board the bus at the time; 8 of them were taken to area hospitals for non-life threatening injuries. In a statement, a NICE spokesman said “NICE is cooperating with police officials, and has its own team investigating the incident. The bus has been taken off-line and will be further examined. As required, NICE has contacted the Public Transportation Safety Board, which will inspect the bus.” The company said the bus driver preivously worked for the MTA before joining NICE in January 2012.
Homicide detectives are investigating the incident, but police said no criminality is suspected. Speed and alcohol were not factors in the incident and the bus driver had the green light, cops said. Detectives are in the process of questioning the 35-year-old man who caused the accident, a spokesman said.
The bus was impounded by police for brake and safety checks.