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Texting Trolley Driver Pleads Guilty

Texting Trolley Driver Pleads Guilty - Aiden Quinn, the MBTA operator who crashed a Green Line trolley while texting his girlfriend in 2009, pleaded guilty to negligence yesterday and was sentenced to two years of probation and 100 hours of community service.

Prosecutors sought a six-month jail sentence for Quinn, whose inattention as he breezed past stop signals in the tunnel between Government Center and Park Street on a Friday evening in May caused a crash that sent dozens of people to the hospital, some with serious and lasting injuries, and destroyed three trolley cars worth nearly $10 million combined.

Texting Trolley Driver Pleads Guilty

But Superior Court Judge Carol S. Ball agreed with Quinn’s lawyer and multiple victims in considering jail excessive. James L. Sultan, Quinn’s lawyer, said the 26-year-old trolley driver owned up to his offense — confessing and turning over his phone to MBTA Transit Police from his hospital bed — and was fired from the job he loved.

He said Quinn’s life was forever altered, and long after a plate was inserted in his shattered wrist, he remains emotionally scarred from the crash and the notoriety it generated.

Sultan said the crash also yielded good, prompting the MBTA to impose the nation’s strictest cellphone policy for operators and contributing to the Legislature’s passage a year later of a texting ban for motorists.

Texting Trolley Driver Pleads Guilty

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