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Driver pleads not guilty in deadly Hingham Apple store crash, told police foot was stuck on accelerator

Bradley Rein, 53, was arrested Monday night, authorities said.

Vehicle involved driving through Apple store window at Derby Street Shops in Hingham
The SUV involved in the crash through the Apple store window at the Derby Street Shops in Hingham on Monday. David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe
Apple Store Crash:

A 53-year-old man has been charged after driving an SUV into a Hingham Apple store on Monday, a fatal crash that left one dead and at least 20 injured, authorities announced Tuesday.

Bradley Rein, of Hingham, was charged with reckless homicide by motor vehicle, according to Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz’s office.

Rein was arrested Monday night and held at the Plymouth County House of Correction, officials said. A plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf during an arraignment hearing in Hingham District Court on Tuesday morning.

Rein told police in an interview Monday he was shopping at the Derby Street Shops that morning, Assistant District Attorney David Cutshall said in court. Rein said his right foot became stuck on the accelerator while he was driving and he tried to brake with his left foot but he could not stop, according to Cutshall.

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Rein also told police he was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs and voluntarily took an initial breath test, which registered a “zero” blood alcohol content reading, the prosecutor said. Rein added he had no medical conditions that impaired his ability to drive a car and the SUV did not have any known mechanical issues, officials said.

Rein has no known connection to the Apple store, according to Cutshall.

Cruz appeared on WBZ’s “NightSide with Dan Rea” Tuesday evening. He said that law enforcement officials would take their time getting to the bottom of the case.

“Slow and steady wins the race, I’m a firm believer in that,” Cruz told Rea. “When we work ourselves through it, like we always do, we’ll get the most information that we can and make the right decision, as best we can based upon the facts and based upon the law. When you do that, generally things work out.”

Bradley Rein is led out of Hingham District court after his arraignment. – John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe

Judge Heather Bradley ordered Rein be held on $100,000 cash bail, at the prosecutor’s request. An attorney representing Rein initially sought to set bail at $20,000 or no higher than $50,000.

Bradley also ordered Rein not to operate a motor vehicle for the duration of the case; to obtain court approval for out-of-state travel; and to not be charged with another crime, as he could be held without bail for up to 90 days should he do so, she said.

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Cruz, while speaking with Rea, said that investigators still have a lot to figure out

“There’s more questions than there are answers right now, I think that’s something that’s not unusual in a lot of cases, but you have to persevere, you have to work. I’m very confident that at the end of the day, we’ll do our jobs and that the right thing will happen,” Cruz said.

What prosecutors said

According to authorities, Rein drove a 2019 Toyota 4Runner through the glass facade of the Apple store located in the Derby Street Shops around 10:45 a.m.

Cutshall said surveillance video reviewed by investigators appeared to show Rein drove at a “consistent high rate of speed down the travel lane and directly into the Apple store,” located approximately 30 feet from the curb.

Rein came to a rest at the left side rear corner of the store, Cutshall said. The crash caused portions of the store’s rear wall to collapse, and debris was pushed into an adjacent hallway behind the wall, he said.

“A large gaping hole was observed to the right of the front entrance,” Cutshall said.

David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe

The crash killed 65-year-old Kevin Bradley, of New Jersey, prosecutors said. In a statement, Apple said Bradley was there “supporting recent construction at the store.” 

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A co-worker of Bradley’s, employed by GMS Construction, told police the two were moving a barrier near a window when he heard the roar of an engine, according to a State Police report reviewed by The Boston Globe.

“He was suddenly spun around and heard what he thought sounded like an explosion, followed by a loud smash,” the report said.

Multiple people suffered life-threatening and limb-threatening injuries, doctors at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth said Monday afternoon. First responders said several people were pinned between a wall and the SUV following the crash.

Initial reports of the number of injured victims varied between authorities and hospitals, but Cutshall said in court Tuesday that first responders identified approximately 21 victims, including Bradley, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Dr. William Tollefsen, the South Shore Hospital EMS medical director, told reporters other victims suffered “somewhat diverse” injuries that included serious head trauma, lower extremity trauma, and mangled limbs. 

At a press briefing Tuesday, Dr. Jason Tracy, the hospital’s chair of emergency medicine, said five victims brought to South Shore Hospital suffered critical injuries. Overall, there were very few minor injuries among the patients, he said, adding “most of them were quite significant.”

“There’s a long road to recovery for many of the patients who are in our facility,” he said.

The hospital initially received 18 victims on Monday, but two people were later transferred to facilities in Boston, Tracy said. All of the injured victims treated at South Shore Hospital are expected to survive, he said.

Apple responded to the incident Monday evening in a statement to Boston.com.

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“We are devastated by the shocking events at Apple Derby Street today and the tragic loss of a professional who was onsite supporting recent construction at the store. Our hearts go out to our team members and customers who were injured and all of those who were affected by this terrible incident,” the statement read. “We are doing everything we can to support our team members and customers at this very difficult time.”

According to Cutshall, Rein voluntarily went with police and consented to a recorded interview with investigators following the crash on Monday.

Rein told investigators he was at the shopping plaza looking for a store where he could purchase a replacement lens for his eye glasses, according to the State Police report.

He said he entered and exited a store that he thought was Warby Parker and proceeded to pull out of his parking spot to look for another store, the report says.

“He stated that while driving in the area of Barnes & Noble, his right foot became stuck on the accelerator and the vehicle accelerated,” Cutshall said. “He stated he used his left foot to try to brake but was unable to stop the vehicle and [it crashed] through the front of the Apple store.”

The police report added: “Mr. Rein stated everything happened fast. Mr. Rein stated his foot had got stuck on the accelerator once in the past while he was driving on the highway. At the time of the crash Mr. Rein was wearing Brooks running sneakers.”

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Investigators also asked why surveillance video showed Rein driving through the parking lot before the incident, and Rein told them he did not know the plaza well since he had only been there once before, according to the report.

In addition to the preliminary breath test, Rein also consented to a search of his cell phone and allowed authorities to take a blood sample, according to Cutshall.

“Following that, the defendant was arrested and booked at the Hingham police station,” Cutshall said. “This investigation is ongoing.”

Rein has no criminal record in Massachusetts, Cutshall said. 

But Cutshall said Rein was arrested by Vermont State Police in December 2020 for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol in Roxbury, Vermont. The charge was later expunged though, he said.

David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe

‘An unfortunate accident’: What the defense said

Rein did not qualify for a court-appointed counsel and must either obtain his own representation or waive his right to an attorney by his next court appearance on Dec. 22.

He was, however, appointed an attorney for bail purposes at Tuesday’s hearing. That attorney highlighted how Rein has cooperated with investigators.

“Although the outcome of this accident was horrific … it was an accident,” the attorney said.

There is also no reason to believe Rein would fail to appear for a scheduled court appearance, the attorney said, citing his ties to the community. 

Rein, who moved to Hingham about a year-and-a-half ago, has lived in Massachusetts for 30 years and has family in the state, including his two children, who he sees often, his attorney said.

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“He also spends a lot of time hiking and mountain biking, skiing, fishing, doing other things with his kids,” the attorney said. “He’s very close with them, very family-oriented with them.”

He is currently unemployed but previously worked in software sales and the technology sector, according to the attorney, who said Rein does not have any mental health issues.

“Like I said, this was just an unfortunate accident,” the attorney said.

Staff writer Ross Cristantiello contributed to this report.

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