August 6, 2014

Gray Line Bus Driver Was High When He Totaled The Bus In Times Square On August 5th

William Dalambert, of Irvington, N.J., has been charged with driving while his ability was impaired. 

The accused drug-addled driver of a double-decker tour bus was behind the wheel for a Times Square wreck despite 11 prior license suspensions, officials said Wednesday.

William Dalambert’s checkered driving past also included nine suspensions of his vehicle registration for a lack of insurance, the New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles reported.

Dalambert, 58, of Irvington, N.J., was most recently nabbed Dec. 1, 2013, for driving in Jersey without a license, registration or insurance — nine months before his arrest in a Midtown crash with another double-decker bus.

Dalambert was charged in the Tuesday wreck with driving while his ability was impaired, with tests done to determine whether he was using prescription or illegal drugs prior to the accident.

He failed a sobriety test at the crash scene and later submitted to blood and urine testing, cops said. The results of those tests were not yet made public.

A Daily News photo showed Dalambert sitting glumly in Times Square, flanked by police officers investigating the scary crash.

The DMV records indicated his driving woes dated back to June 1993, when his license was first suspended. Dalambert, who had a valid license at the time of the crash, lost his driving privileges three times over child support issues, the DMV said.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, a frequent critic of the ubiquitous buses, called for a sit-down to address the presence of the double-deckers.

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The meeting with city transportation officials and local business leaders would focus on “ways to reduce the impact and improve the safety of these buses,” she said. “They are not regulated at city level, and they should be.”

Fourteen people were injured when Dalambert's red Gray Line bus slammed into a stopped City Sites bus and a GMC Yukon SUV around 3:30 p.m. at W. 47th St. and Seventh Ave. Both buses were empty.

Dalambert's niece told the Daily News that stunned relatives were trying without success to contact the bus driver. Dalambert remained in custody Wednesday.

"We've been trying to reach him all night," said niece Cynthia Price. "I heard about the accident (Tuesday) night on the news, but I had no idea it was him."

She was also shocked by the drug allegation: "I'm very surprised to hear he's being charged. He's never had an issue, not that we know of. He wasn't on anything that I'm aware of."

His bus sideswiped the two vehicles before toppling a traffic light that barely missed a toddler tourist from Australia.

Dalambert's Jersey neighbors described him as a menacing loner with a sharp tongue.

His attitude — the things that come out of his mouth sometimes, it’s crazy.

"He could be pretty nasty," said Lucy Cabed, 23, who lives downstairs from Dalambert's ex-wife. "His attitude - the things that come out of his mouth sometimes, it's crazy."

Cabed said she hadn't spoken with Dalambert in a year after she refused to give the demanding bus driver a ride to the train station.

"He's got a bad attitude," she said. "He's got a nasty temper."

She said Dalambert was a veteran driver with at least seven years behind the wheel of a bus.

The New York State Transportation Department last inspected both buses involved in the Times Square accident this past April - and both checked out okay.

Gray Line New York has an 11.4% out-of-service rate, not perfect but better than the 30% rate that regulators consider problematic.

Of 158 inspections last year, 18 of its buses were deemed so unsafe they were ordered off the road.