’Texting Trolley Driver’ in Boston Subway Crash a Transman
A May 8 collision between two inbound trains belonging to Boston’s subway system (locally referred to as the "T") allegedly resulted from the operator of one train texting his girlfriend.
That operator, named Aidan Quinn, is a female-to-male transsexual, according to a May 11 ABC News story.
The ABC News item reported that Quinn had been hired as a minority on the basis of his transition to male from female, even though his driving record showed that Quinn had been issued three tickets for speeding.
The ABC News story also notes that the 24-year-old Quinn had referred to himself as one of the first transsexual employees to be hired by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which oversees the subway system.
The article contained a quote from an unnamed source who said that the driver "was initially hired as a minority and used her transgender status." Quinn started work for the T nearly two years ago.
The news item said that 46 people were hurt, and added that three cars were "crushed" in the impact, with the total bill in damages to MBTA property estimated at nearly $10 million.
The article also said that Quinn told police that he had been texting his girlfriend when the collision took place.
The incident recalls another crash on the same subway line last year in which a driver was allegedly on a cell phone just before the train she was operating collided with another train, killing her, reported Boston public radio station WBUR.
Quinn, who may be charged in the accident, did not appear at a May 10 meeting in which investigators and MBTA officials were scheduled to look into the incident. ABC News reported that Quinn claimed to be sick.
The article cited Daniel Grabauskas, the general manager of the MBTA, as saying that if it is determined that Quinn was indeed texting while on the job, he would be dismissed; Grabauskas also said that MBTA operators of all vehicles would be required to leave cell phones behind when on the job.
A May 10 article in The Boston Globe quoted Grabauskas’ words in the subject, with the T’s general manager saying, "Leave it at home. Leave it in your car. Leave it with a friend. Leave it in a locker.