A veteran driver whose bus crashed through a guardrail, leaving the front end hanging over the Massachusetts Turnpike, appeared to have a cellphone in her hand at the time of the crash, according to an investigative report. The report from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) said that the 42-year-old driver, Shanna Shaw, told investigators after the crash at about 7:30 a.m. on May 18, a Sunday morning, that she was being bothered by allergies and a sneezing fit caused her to close her eyes, fall to the floor and lose control of the bus.
But it appears there may have actually been another contributing factor. Investigators who reviewed video surveillance from the bus said the driver “had an item in her left hand, consistent in size and shape, with a cellular telephone.” The driver and seven of the nine passengers on the bus received medical treatment.
Ms. Shaw at first said she did not have a phone, but an investigator heard a phone ring in her purse at the hospital. She later admitted, according to the report, that she did have a phone. MBTA bus drivers, as well as trolley and train operators, are barred from carrying cellphones on the job. Ms. Shaw allowed police to check the phone’s history, which showed no text messages or phone calls sent or received since 5:30 a.m. that day, according to the police. Shaw is charged with obstruction of justice, operating to endanger, speeding and impeded operation. She was removed from service and the investigation is ongoing. This tragic incident is just another reminder of why driving and either talking on a cell or texting don’t mix. The consequences can be horrific.
Source: Claims Journal
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