MORRIS HEIGHTS, NY – According to an article posted on news12.com, the bus driver who was involved in the “Morris Heights overpass accident” stated that he never refused to submit to a drug test following the accident, as the MTA reported.
According to the MTA, the bus driver was “being withheld from service without pay” pending the outcome of the bus accident investigation. On Friday, the MTA reported that the MTA bus driver passed a breathalyzer test while at the accident scene. However, the MTA also reported that the bus driver refused to submit to a drug and alcohol test when he arrived at a local area hospital.
With his union representatives, the driver addressed allegations that he refused to submit to a drug test. This was the first time the driver addressed the media concerning the overpass accident where he crashed through a guard rail and injured seven passengers. The union vice president showed a document that he and the driver claim to be an official record from the hospital showing that the driver submitted to a urine test at 10 a.m. on Friday. This was about eleven hours after the accident. Union representatives stated that a dispatcher entered the driver’s hospital room to obtain a urine sample, and this was when there was some confusion. The driver eventually was required to submit a urine test in order to be permitted to leave the hospital. Those results come back on Monday. The driver also submitted to a blood test.
The MTA bus driver claims that he let off of the gas and entered the turn. Then he was not sure what occurred after that. He stated that his main concern was his passengers’ safety, and he helped to remove the injured passengers. The 55-year-old MTA driver passed a breathalyzer test at the scene of the accident. However, it is alleged that the driver refused to submit to a “Federal Transit Administration-required drug and alcohol test” at a hospital. This refusal violated the transportation authority rules, according to the Transit Administration.
On Saturday, MTA officials stated that the driver was “withheld from service” without pay pending the outcome of the investigation. According to Michael Cortez, an agency spokesperson, this suspension is routine.
According to MTA spokeswoman Abbey Collins, the bus driver has not met with an MTA testing technician to undergo the required drug and alcohol test as of Saturday afternoon. She also stated that the accident was tragic, and the MTA will continue to update the public as new information is obtained. She also asserted that the driver “refused his FTA and M.T.A.-mandated drug and alcohol test multiple times.” The spokeswoman also stated that this is a nonnegotiable, federally mandated requirement, and there would be no exceptions to this requirement.
However, the driver limped out of his Mount Vernon home and informed the reporters that he had already provided urine and blood samples at the hospital following the accident. According to the driver’s medical records that the driver showed reporters, he had submitted to a drug test more than 10 hours following the accident. The driver simply wanted to “set the record straight” regarding the drug and alcohol testing. He affirmed that he did take the drug test, and he never refused to take a drug or alcohol test. The driver concluded by stating that he had no reason to refuse a drug test.”
Union officials with Transport Workers Union Local 100, who are representing the bus driver, stated that the test results are pending.
According to Craig Cipriano, the president of MTA Bus, the driver had over “eleven years of good service on the job and a good safety record.”
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