Trial for driver of Green Line train that crashed, injuring 27 people, heard in one day

BOSTON — The trial for the MBTA operator who was at the controls of a Green Line trolley that crashed is already wrapping up.

Both sides rested on Tuesday after putting all of their witnesses on the stand.

Owen Turner, who is facing charges of gross negligence, is accused of driving the Green Line train too fast, and nearly 30 people were hurt in the crash.

The video shown to jurors shows the impact along Commonwealth Avenue in July 2021.

Prosecutors say Owen Turner was the main operator of the train that crashed into the train in front of him.

The other MBTA operators who were on both trains described what happened.

Imani Finkley and Tanisha King were operators also on the trains.

“Moments later after that we made an impact. We hit something big. I wasn’t sure what,” said Finkley. “It was horrendous. It was nothing like I ever imagined would happen to me on the job. A loud bang. Passengers screaming, passengers displaced, very gory and bloody,” said King.

Investigators say Turner was going three times the speed limit, and 27 passengers and four operators were hurt.

Investigators say Turner had a lengthy history of violations in his seven years at the T. Several of those violations involved speeding.

Turner’s attorney, Matthew Peterson, told the jurors this was a bad accident.

“You are going to hear evidence that he was unconscious at the time, by the time this train hit the other train, he was unconscious,” he said.

“So he didn’t intentionally speed, he didn’t intentionally neglect,” said Peterson.

Prosecutors say Turner changed his story during the investigation.

MBTA Transit Detective Andrea Purcell talked to Turner after the crash.

“He initially said he told MBTA he may have fallen asleep but that wasn’t what he told me,” said Purchell.

Both the defense and prosecution rested on Tuesday and closing arguments are scheduled for Wednesday in Boston.

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