By Joe Anuta
A bus driver who should not have been behind the wheel was arrested last Thursday while transporting a student to school, the Queens district attorney said, just three weeks after another driver from the same company collided with an ambulance in downtown Forest Hills.
The arrest was part of a recent crackdown on illegal bus drivers in the wake of two fatal accidents involving tour buses in the Bronx and New Jersey, the DA said.
The DA alleged that Emel Marin, 42, of 31-31 54th St. in Woodside, created a fake identity to obtain a license after his was suspended six years ago.
Marin was a driver for Logan Transportation Corp., at 97-14 Atlantic Ave. in Ozone Park, a company that owns several bus companies including Little Linda and Little Richie, the DA said. Marin was driving a student to school for Little Linda last Thursday when police made the arrest, the DA said. A replacement driver was on the scene to finish the child’s trip, the DA said.
Marin has worked at Logan Transportation Corp. for 11 years, the DA said. His license was suspended twice during that time period, once in December 2005 for failing to appear in court and again in March 2006 for failing to pay a fine, the DA said.
Marin not only failed to mention those two offenses when he applied to the state Department of Motor Vehicles for a new license Feb. 22, but he also neglected to mention he had changed his name and address, the DA said. In addition, Marin has two identities on file with the DMV: He is also known as Carlos Lopez, 39, and has a different Social Security number, the DA said.
The dual identities allowed Marin to obtain a second license after his first one was suspended, the DA said.
On March 10, another Logan Transportation Corp. bus from Little Richie Bus Co. was carrying six special-needs children when it collided with an ambulance that was en route to an emergency, police said. The accident occurred at the intersection of Queens Boulevard and 71st Ave. at around 4 p.m., police said.
No one was hurt, according to officers and firemen at the scene, but six of the children were taken to a hospital as a precaution, police said.
The ambulance was empty and was able to drive away from the scene, but the Little Richie bus had to be towed away from the scene, police said.
Another driver was also netted in the DA’s operation. George Gregory Gonsalves, 53, aka Gregory Gonsalves, 54, of 259-03 147th Ave. in Rosedale, was also charged along with Marin, the DA said.
Gonsalves worked for Community Transportation System, at 159-05 Hillside Ave. in Jamaica, the DA said.
Marin was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and both men were charged with offering a false instrument for filing and falsifying business records, the DA said. If convicted, they could face up to four years in prison, the DA said.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.