Texting T driver charged with negligence
Lawyer: State's case blast from the past
By Laura Crimaldi, Boston Herale
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Accused texting T driver Aiden Quinn blew through a green light, a yellow light and finally a red light moments before he crashed his Green Line trolley May 8 because he was fixated on reaching his girlfriend, a prosecutor charged yesterday.
Quinn, 24, pleaded not guilty in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston to a single charge of gross negligence while in control of a train. He was set free on personal recognizance.
Investigators who examined Quinn’s cell phone after the crash found that he tried to place a call moments before striking a parked trolley in front of him, said Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Paul Treseler. He did not reach the number he was dialing, Treseler said.
He then began typing a text message to his girlfriend, Treseler said.
“He had been texting his girlfriend and said he had not seen one of the green lights, one of the yellow lights and one of the red lights,” before hitting the other trolley, Treseler said. Quinn did manage to apply an emergency brake just seconds before the collision.
The crash prompted the T to order all employees to stop carrying cell phones while on duty. So far, the T has fired two operators and issued a 10-day suspension to another operator who flouted the policy, MBTA General Manager Daniel A. Grabauskas said.
Quinn’s lawyer, James L. Sultan, said the charge tossed at his cleint should have remained in the history books. He said instead of prosecuting Quinn, the public would be better served by improving T safety, as recommended last week by the National Transportation Safety Board.
“I think they picked the wrong statute,” said Sultan outside the courtroom as he draped his arm around Quinn. “His life has been shattered.”
Sultan said the law dates back 135 years and was enacted in the enforcement of “choo-choo trains.”
Prosecutors defended the charge, pointing out another time-tested statute.
“The murder statute dates back to 1784 and that doesn’t stop us from using it in Massachusetts,” said Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.
Quinn is due back in court July 27, when a permanent defense attorney will be assigned the case. Quinn, who has been fired from his MBTA job, claims he is flat broke and can’t afford a lawyer. He came to court wearing a dark suit and did not speak to reporters.
He faces up to three years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines for the Government Center mayhem that left more than 60 injured and caused $9 million in property damage.
flat broke"...but sufficient $$$ for the hormone treatments and how will these necessities be covered if and when this gender-identified man is incarcerated?
I love that "deer in the headlights" look. Now the judge will have to figure out which gender prison girl-boy will be housed in. Only in Massachusetts - and we'll be paying for his/her gender re-assignment so that he/she'll come out of prison a new "man."
Mon-Thurs he will be in Concord, Fri-Sun he will be in Framingham. I believe its equitable.
Throw the book at him/her/whatever!
Doesn't Aiden Quinn work for Fox 25 TV as a wise-cracking commentator? He/she sure does look like that Fox 25 guy!
It's not a HE. Why does everyone keep referring to this person as he? People who get a monthly visitor and can give birth are not a he. Not even close. It's like everyone's gone insane. Hey guess what. I think I'm Napoleon. I want everyone to refer to me as Emperor for now on.
Right to the men's prison! It wants to be a man then fine, it's a man. You can't have it both ways. You made the choice so now it's time to deal with the consequences. Shower time is going to be interesting for this "man".