Two men died Sunday night when the Suzuki motorcycle they were riding collided head-on with a city bus in Jackson Heights.
Emergency officials responded to the scene of the accident at 73rd Street and 31st Avenue, after a 911 call was received around 8:15 p.m.
According to a Police Department spokesperson, the speeding motorcycle was going eastbound on 31st Avenue, attempting to pass the Q47 bus, which was trying to make a right-hand turn onto 73rd Street.
Reportedly the motorcycle struck with such force that the bottom right portion of the bus’ windshield shattered.
The victims were taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where they were pronounced dead.
“There are no names. The families have not been notified as of now,” a Police Department spokeswoman said.
The bus driver and two passengers were reportedly taken to Elmhurst Hospital for minor injuries.
In 2001 major motorcycle manufacturers reached an informal agreement to limit speed potential to 186 mph because of an ongoing “speed war” with competitors raising performance every year and the potential for increased risk of injury to riders and others, according to a salesman at New York Motorcycle in Queens Village. The citywide speed limit on most streets is 30 mph.
Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) said he has received numerous speeding complaints from residents. His office has applied to the Department of Transportation “Neighborhood Slow Zone” program to cut down the limit in the area including where the accident occured.
The community-based program would reduce the speed limit to 20 mph, with the goal to limit the number and severity of traffic accidents, as well as increasing safety for residents, particularly young children and senior citizens. The application’s due date was February.
The proposed “East Elmhurst Slow Zone” area is bounded by Astoria Boulevard to the north, 85th Street to the east and 31st Avenue to the south.
Its western border comprises three roadways: the Brooklyn Queens Expressway eastbound, between 31st Avenue and 25th Avenue; 25th Avenue between the BQE eastbound and 77th Street, and 77th Street between 25th Avenue and Astoria Boulevard.
The application is pending.
“Cars come barreling down there all the time, with such force sometimes it can shake windows,” Dromm said
“Motorcyclists, for their own safety, have to take extra precautions,” he added.
The most recent DOT injury data available states two pedestrians and two cyclists were injured on the corner of 73rd and 31st from 2006 through 2008. The two recent motorcycle deaths were the first fatalities going back 2006, according to a DOT spokesman.
“Such a shame. A terrible, terrible tragedy on Mother’s Day. Those are somebody’s sons,” Dromm said.