Texting Trolley Driver Could Face Charges

Michelle McPhee, ABC News, May 11, 2009

The Boston-area transit authority trolley driver who allegedly slammed into another train while text-messaging his girlfriend Friday had three speeding tickets on his driving record in recent years and could face criminal charges.

Aiden Quinn, 24, received the three speeding tickets in his private vehicle, two in New Hampshire in April 2007, and one in Massachusetts in 2002, sources told ABC News.

Quinn, who was hired as a minority because of his transgendered “female-to-male” status, was born Georgia Quinn and boasts on an Internet networking site that he was one of the first transgender hires by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, sources said.

The trolley driver lists his sexual orientation as “FTM” and was hired as a minority using his transgender status, two sources told ABC News.

“[Quinn] was initially hired as a minority and used her transgender status,” an MBTA source said today.

MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo told ABC News today that there was “nothing unusual” about Quinn’s hire, and that he was picked out of a lottery that he entered in 2004.

The Green Line trolley Quinn was driving rear-ended another trolley that was stopped between two underground stations in downtown Boston on Friday night, injuring 46 people, and he told police he was texting at the time of the crash, officials said.

Three of four trolley cars were crushed and MBTA officials estimated the cost of damages from the crash at $9.6 million.

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Quinn could face criminal charges.

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Meanwhile, the head of the Boston-area transit authority said Saturday he’ll ban all train and bus operators from even carrying cell phones.

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If it turns out to be true that Quinn was texting his girlfriend at the time of the crash, he would be at least the 10th driver guilty of the offense in the last year.

At least nine other bus and trolley drivers have been suspended in the last yearfor texting or talking on their cell phones while driving.

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