The MBTA bus that crashed in Newton on May 18, 2014. Seven people were injured. The bus jumped the sidewalk and partially hung over I-90, the Mass. Pike. Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro
The MBTA driver who was behind the wheel of a bus that crashed on a Newton overpass Sunday causing the vehicle to hang ominously over the Massachusetts Turnpike is accused of driving dangerously and not cooperating with investigators.
Transit Police obtained a complaint in Newton District Court Monday charging the unnamed bus operator with obstruction of justice, and was cited for operating to endanger, speeding and impeded operation, according to MBTA Spokesman Joe Pesaturo.
An arraignment date has been set for May 27, Pesaturo said. It wasn’t immediately clear how the driver allegedly obstructed justice.
The Boston Globe reported that investigators are probing whether the driver used a cellphone before the crash. When asked about that report, Pesaturo said “investigators are looking into all possibilities."
The Route 57 bus crashed at about 7:35 a.m. Sunday, colliding with a guardrail and slamming into chain-link fencing leaving it partially hanging over the I-90 turnpike.
Of the 10 people on board the bus at the time, eight were injured during the crash, including the driver. None of the injuries were considered life-threatening.
An MBTA official who was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation told the Globe that the 43-year-old female driver had a cellphone with her while operating the bus, which violates the T's zero-tolerance policy.
In 2009, the MBTA enacted a ban prohibiting “possession or use of cell phones [and other electronic devices] by bus, subway, and trolley operators.”
The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office is assisting with the investigation.