Driver of double-decker bus may have been impaired (+video)

William Dalambert, the driver of a double-decker sightseeing bus in New York City, failed a sobriety test after plowing into a Times Square plaza and injuring 14 people on Tuesday.

By , Associated Press

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 New Jersey, had been drinking, but he was arrested after he failed a sobriety test, police said.

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

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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 near a 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.

There was no immediate response to a phone message left 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.

Associated Press writer Jake Pearson contributed to this report.

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