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Amesbury man to be cited for causing T bus to plow into Whittier Street Health Center

Posted by Roy Greene  June 26, 2012 06:17 PM

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Tbusintowhitter1.jpg

(Boston Fire Department)

The Whittier Street Health Center, 1290 Tremont St., was damaged in the crash.

An Amesbury man will be cited for driving a vehicle Monday night that allegedly cut off and collided with an MBTA bus, which subsequently crashed into a newly built community medical center building on Tremont Street in Roxbury. Two people aboard the bus were injured, officials said.

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(Boston Fire Department
Richard Thompson, 55, told officers that when he realized he was driving in the wrong direction – west instead of east – on Tremont Street, he signaled and tried to move to the left lane where a bus was. Then his vehicle collided with the bus, according to a report from Transit Police who spoke to Thompson at the scene of the accident.

The driver side door of Thompson's vehicle appeared to have made contact with the right front corner of the bus, according to the report e-mailed by T officials. The accident was reported at about 10:25 p.m. Monday during heavy rainfall.

The bus wound up barreling through the corner of the Whittier Street Health Center where a staircase is located. The crash caused a sprinkler pipe to break, spewing water inside the building at 1290 Tremont St, officials said. No one was in that part of the building when the crash occurred.

The $37-million, 78,900-square foot facility opened nearly six months ago.

Two of about 20 people aboard the bus were transported by emergency medical technicians for minor injuries, officials said. A tow truck pulled the bus out from the wall of the six-story facility after building inspectors said it was safe to do so.

"I guess if the bus was going to hit [the building], it was at the best spot," Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said Tuesday. "It went into the corner of an empty stairwell."

He said the fire department has not estimated how much damage was done to the building or the bus.

MacDonald said the building suffered water damage and damage from the crash, but that "there wasn't anything major as far as structural [damage]."

Thompson was offered medical treatment, but said he did not need any, according to the police report. He told officers that he was on his way home from visiting his wife at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, which is located about a one-mile drive from where the accident occurred.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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Tbusintowhitter3.jpg

(Boston Fire Department)

The Whittier Street Health Center, 1290 Tremont St., was damaged in the crash.

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