Mass. fire chief to face discipline for texting and driving citation after crash
Police said that Fire Chief T. Andrew Reardon crashed his town-registered Chevy Tahoe into the back of a box truck, causing a chain reaction crash of vehicles
By Joe DiFazio
The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, Mass.
NORWELL, Mass. — Fire Chief T. Andrew Reardon will face town discipline after being cited for a four-vehicle texting and driving crash in Hanover that sent him and three others to the hospital.
Town Administrator Peter Morin said that he and the chief discussed and agreed upon proposed disciplinary action, but Morin would not disclose to the Patriot Ledger what that action would be, citing it was a private personnel matter.
Morin said he will bring the proposed disciplinary action to the Board of Selectmen for approval at their next meeting.
"(Reardon) acknowledges the serious nature of the accident and that as Fire Chief he is held to a high standard of conduct," Morin said in a statement. "I have informed him of my intentions to recommend disciplinary action commensurate with his failure to meet those standards. The chief has informed me that he agrees with my recommendation and will not exercise his right to a hearing or to otherwise appeal."
The crash happened July 31 at about 9 a.m. on Washington Street in Hanover. Police said that Reardon crashed his town-registered Chevy Tahoe into the back of a box truck, causing a chain reaction crash of vehicles stopped at a red light. The box truck was pushed into an SUV in front of it which hit a sedan. Police said Reardon's Tahoe was "very heavily damaged" and the crash trapped him inside it.
Reardon, a 40-year-old Hanson man driving the box truck and his passenger a 38 year-old man from Bridgewater and the 19-year-old woman from Weymouth driving the SUV were all taken to South Shore Hospital. Their three vehicles had to be towed from the scene. The driver of the sedan refused medical help and was able to drive their car away from the crash.
Reardon told police that he received a text and looked down at his phone to see it at the time of the crash. Hanover police issued Reardon a citation through the mail for texting while driving.
"(Reardon) was honest and forthright in reporting to the responding officer that he may have been distracted by reaching for his reading glasses to read an incoming text message," Morin said. "Because the vehicle he was operating struck the rear end of another vehicle he was found to be presumptively at fault. There are no further charges pending."
A lifelong Norwell resident, Reardon joined the town's fire department in 1976 as a part-time call firefighter. He became chief in 2007.
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