Times Square Bus Driver Goes From Suspect to Hero

PHOTO: Police investigate the scene of a traffic accident involving two double-decker tour buses in New York Citys Theater District, Aug. 5, 2014.Bebeto Matthews/AP Photo
Police investigate the scene of a traffic accident involving two double-decker tour buses in New York City's Theater District, Aug. 5, 2014.

An investigation into a New York bus driver who was arrested after he smashed into a lamp post and knocked it down in busy Times Square this summer has determined no charges will be filed because the driver was actually a hero.

"We have concluded that a mechanical failure caused the bus to lurch forward, at which time the driver steered the bus away from a crowded sidewalk, thereby averting serious injury to those on the sidewalk," the Manhattan prosecutor's office said today.

William Dalambert was at the wheel of a double-decker Gray Line bus in August when the bus slammed into a lamp post, knocking it down. Fourteen people, including a child, were injured. Tourists were terrified, some of the injured were taken away on stretchers, and five city blocks were shut down during rush hour, just steps from where tourists line up for tickets to Broadway shows.

Dalambert was arrested and police initially said he had failed a sobriety test.

A full drug and alcohol screen test was performed later which cleared Dalambert of being impaired.

"As part of the two-month-long investigation, prosecutors interviewed numerous eyewitnesses, including the only witness on the bus, a tour guide riding with Dalambert at the time of the crash," a statement from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said.

"After obtaining phone records, video, and running tests on an identical bus, we have concluded that a mechanical failure caused the bus to lurch forward, at which time the driver steered the bus away from a crowded sidewalk, thereby averting serious injury to those on the sidewalk," the statement said.

The DA's office said Dalambert "voluntarily submitted to sobriety and toxicology tests, which came back negative."

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