HANOVER, Mass. - Norwell’s fire chief has been issued a citation for texting and driving following a chain reaction crash in Hanover that sent four people to the hospital last week, according to a police report obtained by Boston 25 News.
The four-vehicle crash happened just after 9 a.m. July 31 in front of the Savers thrift store on Washington Street.
The police report states Andrew Reardon, 61, of Norwell, was operating a 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe registered to the Town of Norwell when he slammed into the back of a 2012 Isuzu box truck, which crashed into a 2010 Toyota RAV4, which hit the back of a 2017 Toyota Camry.
Reardon is currently Norwell’s fire chief and has served the Town of Norwell for more than three decades.
The police report stated the Tahoe was “very heavily damaged.”
Reardon, a 40-year-old Hanson man and 38-year-old Bridgewater man in the box truck and a 19-year-old Weymouth woman in the RAV4 were all taken to South Shore Hospital.
The driver of the Camry refused medical treatment and drove her car from the scene. The other three vehicles had to be towed away.
According to the police report, an officer followed up with Reardon the next day at the hospital and asked him what he recalled about the crash.
“[Reardon] stated he was traveling [northbound] on Washington Street and got a text on his home,” the officer stated in the report. “He stated that he looked at the text and failed to realize that the traffic was stopped in front of him, and when he saw that traffic was stopped he did not have enough time to avoid the collision.”
Hanover Police issued Reardon a citation for texting with operating a motor vehicle.
Norwell Town Administrator Peter Morin told Boston 25 News he has discussed the accident and police report with Reardon.
“The Chief acknowledges the serious nature of the accident and that as Fire Chief he is held to a high standard of conduct,” Morin told Boston 25 News in a statement. “I have informed him of my intentions to recommend disciplinary action commensurate with his failure to meet those standards.”
Morin said Reardon has informed him he agrees with his recommend disciplinary action and will waive his right to a hearing or otherwise appeal.
Full statement from Norwell Town Administrator Peter Morin:
“Chief Andrew Reardon has served the Town of Norwell with distinction for over three decades. Following the accident in which he was involved last week he was honest and forthright in reporting to the investigating officer that he may have been distracted by reaching for his reading glasses to read an incoming text. He was issued a warning for violation of the laws against texting and driving. Because the vehicle he was driving struck the rear end of another vehicle, he was found to be presumptively at fault. There are no further charges pending. The Chief and I have discussed the accident and report. The Chief acknowledges the serious nature of the accident and that as Fire Chief he is held to a high standard of conduct. 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 waive his right to a hearing or otherwise appeal.”
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