Boston Subway Operator Texts Girlfriend, Injures Passengers In Collision
By Mary Ann Pekara
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) workers are no longer allowed to carry cell phones on duty thanks to the idiocy of one man.
Simply unable to wait, MBTA driver Aiden Quinn texted his girlfriend and subsequently caused a Green Line trolley car to crash and injure 62 passengers. Thankfully, none of said injuries were life-threatening. The accident took place on May 8, a Friday night, and was the first of three major railway crashes in the U.S. since May.
The Boston subway operator is to be arraigned today, July 20, in Suffolk Superior Court, and will answer to a charge of gross negligence by a person in control of a train.
While preoccupied with his cell phone, Quinn ran through yellow and then red warning lights before slamming into a stopped trolley in the subway tunnel near the Government Center. Both trains derailed in the aftermath, and nearly two dozen people were put on stretchers. In addition, several people were trapped and extricated. Dozens of emergency vehicles responded to the scene.
A 28 year-old passenger said the train was fairly crowded at the time, and she was on the way to a Boston Red Sox game. The accident, she said, came without warning.
Quinn himself broke a wrist, and the MBTA fired him a week after the incident. Police interviewed him when he was in the hospital; his were the most severe injuries of the accident. He was a two-year employee of MBTA.
The MBTA and the National Transportation Authority blamed the accident on human error.
Furious, MBTA General Manager Dan Grabauskas said in response to the accident, “I can tell you it’s difficult to contain my outrage at hearing this.” He continued, “There is absolutely no excuse for a bus driver or train operator with the MBTA to be operating a cell phone or texting of any kind when they have lives of individuals behind them. We’ve made that clear time and time again, and I’m very angry about it.”
The Green Line was closed from Park Street to the Government Center Friday night and into Saturday morning to enable the National Transportation Safety Board investigation to take place with service being redirected to the Orange Line between Park Street and North Station.
In total, the collision caused $9 million in property damages.
Quinn’s attorney, Michelle Menken, merely stated to the public that he is, “deeply remorseful.” As a result of this embarrassing and irresponsible act, nearly all mass-transit drivers in the Boston area are now banned from carrying cell phones and electronic devices as a whole while on duty.