Criminal charges will be filed against driver believed to be trying to self-harm at Alewife
The MBTA Transit Police and Middlesex District Attorney’s Office will seek eight counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon against the driver of a car that crashed into a concrete barrier in the Alewife Station parking garage, sending a 10,000-pound piece of concrete through the roof of the station Saturday.
In a statement released Thursday, the MBTA Transit Police said that at approximately 1:30 p.m. Saturday, an officer on patrol at the station heard a crash on the fifth floor of the parking garage and saw a white Honda Civic crashed through the wall, hanging partially off the roof of the east side of the garage and over the mezzanine level of the station.
The officer approached the vehicle. A 29-year-old man from Medford was lying on the ground next to the driver’s side door, which was open. The officer reported that the man was conscious but not alert, and shortly afterward stopped breathing. The officer began life-support measures, after which EMTs arrived and took over care. The driver was taken to a local hospital, where he remains.
The Transit Police confirm that the act was intentional, and the driver was likely trying to harm himself, based on interviews with the driver’s family member and through investigation. Transit Police Supt. Richard Sullivan would not confirm if the driver had been interviewed; police are not yet releasing the driver’s name.
“The male is not in custody. This will be a summons process,” Sullivan told Cambridge Day.
The Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office will seek charges based on the driver’s reckless and negligent operation of the car, charging him with operating to endanger. The eight counts of assault and battery are based on the fact commuters were hit with debris; one 14-year-old girl was hurt when the glass ceiling shattered. Transit Police also filed an immediate-threat application with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles to revoke the suspect’s license.
Red line service at Alewife will resume at the start of service Friday, the MBTA said.
Riders will enter the station through the Russell Field headhouse while the main lobby undergoes repairs. The parking garage remains open except for Level 5.
The MBTA asks drivers and riders to consider alternate transit and parking options because of the garage’s reduced parking capacity, and to buy fares before arriving at the Russell Field headhouse to avoid lines at fare-vending machines.
MBTA staff and transit ambassadors will be onsite to help commuters, officials said Thursday.