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MBTA bus driver in crash pleads not guilty

May 27, 2014

NEWTON, Mass. (AP) — The Boston bus driver who crashed through a guardrail and left the front wheel of her bus hanging over the Massachusetts Turnpike pleaded not guilty Tuesday to misleading investigators.

Shanna Shaw, 42, was released after her arraignment on an obstruction of justice charge in Newton District Court on a promise to return to court next month. Neither she nor her lawyer commented outside of court.

Shaw, an 18-year employee of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, was behind the wheel of the bus that hit a guardrail and dangled over the highway in Newton during an early morning run on May 18, authorities said. The bus was never in danger of falling.

Shaw at first told investigators she lost control because of a sneezing fit caused by allergies, but according to police records, she had a cellphone in her hand at the time of the crash, a violation of MBTA rules. Prosecutors asked to see her medical records from the day of the crash to determine if she was suffering from allergies.

She and seven of her nine passengers suffered minor injuries.

Shaw was also cited for operating to endanger, speeding and impeded operation.

She has been suspended from her job and the state Registry of Motor Vehicles has suspended her driver’s license.

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