On July 20, a Boston, Massachusetts trolley driver who told authorities he was sending a text message to his girlfriend seconds before rear-ending another trolley, causing more than 60 people to suffer personal injuries, entered a plea of not guilty to a charge of gross negligence in Suffolk Superior Court as his attorney criticized the prosecution for charging him under an obscure law.
On July 20, 24-year-old Aiden Quinn was arraigned on a charge of gross negligence by a person in control of a train. He was released on personal recognizance.
Quinn’s attorney said his client was “very afraid” of the felony charge, which carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison.
According to Assistant District Attorney Paul Treseler, Quinn’s cell phone records show that he attempted to make a call and typed a text message on his phone in the moments leading up to his Green Line trolley colliding with the rear of another.
Treseler says that after the May 8 accident, Quinn admitted to authorities that he had been texting his girlfriend and did not see a yellow light or red light that he went through without stopping. He applied the emergency break approximately eight feet before impact, according to Treseler.
Treseler said that several people were badly hurt and some were severely injured. He noted that one passenger suffered a broken pelvis and many others suffered broken bones.
A total of 62 people suffered injuries in the collision, which resulted in $9 million worth of damage.
Following the crash, Quinn was fired by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which initiated a ban on drivers carrying cell phones and other electronic devices on trains and buses.
Quinn is next scheduled to appear in court on July 27.