NATIONAL NEWS

Driver involved in fatal Apple store crash pleads not guilty

Apr 24, 2023, 8:06 AM

BROCKTON, Mass. (AP) — The driver of an SUV that crashed into a Massachusetts Apple store, killing one man and injuring nearly two dozen other people, was traveling as fast as 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in the seconds before the crash and did not apply his brakes as he had told investigators, a prosecutor said in court Monday.

Bradley Rein, 53, pleaded not guilty in Superior Court in Brockton to charges including second-degree murder and 22 counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in connection with the Nov. 21 crash at an outdoor shopping plaza in Hingham, just south of Boston.

Kevin Bradley, 65, of Wayne, New Jersey, who was doing construction work at the store, died when he was struck by Rein’s 2019 Toyota 4Runner, prosecutors said. The other 22 victims were either struck by the SUV or by debris.

Rein’s vehicle “accelerated to a high speed … before it veered to the left, drove up onto the sidewalk and then crashed through the glass door of the Apple store, went across the sales floor and crashed into the rear wall of the store,” prosecutor David Cutshall said in court.

An analysis of the vehicle’s data recorder indicated that in the five seconds prior to the crash, it accelerated to up to 60 mph and there was no indication that the brakes were applied.

Rein previously told investigators that the accelerator got stuck and he tried to apply his brakes.

The vehicle was also turned left at the last moment before the crash, Cutshall said.

Rein’s attorney, Joan Fund, did not address the prosecution’s version of events in court, but she had previously said she was “astounded” by the murder charge. A voicemail seeking comment was left with Fund on Monday.

Rein was not impaired by drugs or alcohol, and state police investigators found no mechanical issues with the SUV that would have contributed to the crash, Cutshall said.

Under an agreement between the prosecution and defense, Rein will remain free on the $100,000 bail he posted after his district court arraignment under several conditions including that he not drive and wear a GPS tracking device.

Rein was indicted on the upgraded murder charge in late March.

His next court date in June 21.

Several victims have filed lawsuits against the owner of the property, the developer, the management of the property, Apple and Rein, alleging negligence.

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