A funeral was held in Chinatown on Saturday for a couple who died in last week's tour bus crash in the Bronx. NY1's Joe Malvasio filed the following report.
Family and friends bid farewell to Ock Thling Wong and his wife, May Ling Wong, at a Mulberry Street funeral home in Chinatown.
The Wongs were among the 15 people killed on March 12, when a World Wide Tours bus flipped on its side on the way back from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut and slid into a road sign post.
The couple emigrated to the United States from China more than 50 years ago and were well-known in their community. Tearful mourners stood shoulder to shoulder outside the funeral home and most were too distraught to speak.
Those who knew the Wongs said they were always smiling and loved to take trips together to Mohegan Sun.
"[May Ling Wong is] our church member and I know her very well -- her personality, her tenderness, her kindness toward people," said family friend Daniel Go. "And I'm myself going through the same loss of somebody. I can speak that I know how it feels. And even though as a people we can try to say things, words cannot really replace how people feel. So that's the only thing I could do, is just pray for her and her family."
A solemn procession made its way through Chinatown on its way to Cypress Hill, Brooklyn, were the couple was buried.
Before the Wongs' service, a group of relatives and friends of many of the victims visited the crash site in the Bronx to hold a traditional Buddhist ceremony early Saturday.
Officials blocked the right lane of traffic on the New England Thruway while relatives placed flowers, food and personal items at the site. The death ritual was meant to release the spirits of the dead for the next life.
Four people remained in critical condition at Jacobi Hospital on Saturday as a result of the crash.
An investigation into what caused the crash was still underway. City, state and federal investigators are focusing on the driver, Ophadell Williams, but no charges had been filed by Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, police told NY1 that a crackdown conducted with transit officials on 14 buses in Midtown Manhattan between 8:30 p.m. Friday and 1:45 a.m. Saturday resulted with 54 criminal court summonses.
Eight buses were towed and two drivers were placed out of service.