MTA driver refutes drug test refusal in Morris Heights overpass crash
The driver of the MTA bus that was left dangling from an overpass in Morris Heights says he never refused a drug test, as the MTA has claimed.
He, along with union representatives spoke out Saturday for the first time since the early Friday morning incident that left seven passengers injured and debris, a smashed guard rail and other damages in the area.
The MTA said Everton Beccan is being withheld from service without pay. On Friday, the MTA said he passed a breathalyzer test at the scene of the accident. But it said the 55-year-old driver refused a drug and alcohol test upon arrival at the hospital.
On Saturday, the union vice president held up a piece of paper they claim they got from the hospital which stated he took a urine test at 10 a.m. on Friday – about 11 hours after the incident. The union says a dispatcher came into the hospital room to get a urine sample and that's when the confusion started.
“There's controversy here on what this dispatcher did say to Mr. Beccan about the test," says Joseph Dipaolo.
Beccan eventually had to take one to be cleared from the hospital. TWU Local 100 says they will get the results from that drug test from the hospital on Monday. Beccan also took a blood test.
With his mouth wired shut, Beccan was still able to speak and explained the terrifying moments as the bus went off the barrier.
“I eased off the gas pedal and the bus just took off and in the turn, I lost it,” he said. “I don't know what happened after that. All I'm thinking about is myself and the passengers – hope everybody's safe, and as I got out, I helped who I could help because my main concern was for them and my life."