Saturday, 2:15 PM
By Globe Staff
Police today charged a man with driving to endanger and other violations after he allegedly smashed his delivery truck into eight parked motor vehicles Thursday in Allston before it burst into flames.
Timothy Newton, 38, of Revere, had twice had his driver's license suspended for excessive traffic citations, according to state Registry of Motor Vehicles records and police. But his license was reinstated in July 2007 after he completed a mandatory safe driver course.
Newton and two other people were treated for minor injuries after the trail of crashes on Commonwealth Avenue, which snarled morning rush-hour traffic and forced the MBTA to use shuttle buses while one branch of the Green Line was halted for about four hours.
Ann Dufresne, a spokeswoman for the Registry of Motor Vehicles, said Newton's license had been revoked at the request of the Boston Police, who determined that he was an "immediate threat." The revocation will last indefinitely, she said.
Newton was driving a box truck with medical supplies for New England Delivery Inc. of Wilmington. Company officials have declined to comment.
What triggered the crash and fire remained under investigation by Boston police. A police source told the Globe Thursday that Newton blacked out just before the first crash.
According to police and fire officials, Newton was driving westbound on Commonwealth, at the intersection of Babcock Street, when he smashed into five parked vehicles. One collision pushed a pickup onto the Green Line tracks.
Newton kept driving down Commonwealth and hit three vehicles near the intersection of Brighton Avenue. The first car, a 1995 Suzuki, was pushed onto the sidewalk and severely damaged.
The second, a 2006 Range Rover, was pushed into the plate glass window of a commercial office building.
With a third car, a Lexus, lodged in front of it, the truck was driven down Brighton Avenue, where the Lexus exploded into flames, witnesses said. That fire ignited Newton's truck, sending flames 30 feet into the air, and creating a heat so intense the vehicles were welded, officials said.
Firefighters extinguished the fire and briefly treated the scene as a hazardous materials incident. Officials said minimal amounts of automotive fluids leaked into sewers and were not expected to significantly affect the environment.
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