BOSTON, Dec. 31, 2013—The death of a 59-year-old Melrose man struck by a support vehicle at Logan International Airport last night appears to be accidental, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said today.
State Police detectives assigned to Conley’s office are still investigating the incident, which took place at about 7:30 on the tarmac in the airport’s north cargo area, but no charges have been sought as of this morning. Assisting in the investigation are State Police Troop F investigators, the Crime Scene Services Section, the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, and Massport personnel.
The preliminary investigation suggests that the driver and deceased were co-workers at a flight support company. The driver was operating a modified Ford F-350 specially equipped for flight maintenance and was travelling in reverse in the area of a stationary 737 when he struck his fellow employee, who was standing behind the vehicle and suffered fatal injuries. Boston Emergency Medical Services pronounced him dead at the scene. The driver was overwhelmed in the aftermath of the collision and was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital for stress and physical injuries that are not life-threatening.
Pursuant to a condition of his employment for a flight support company, the driver was subjected to testing for the use of drugs and alcohol. Because that testing is mandatory, however, investigators may not obtain its results without a court order – a civilian driver in the same position, for example, would have the opportunity to decline a Breathalyzer test, which under Massachusetts law may only be administered voluntarily. Investigators also seized his cellular phone to determine whether it was in use at the time of the collision.
Prosecutors stressed, however, that there was no immediate indication that the driver was impaired or distracted. Because there is currently no evidence of foul play, neither the operator nor the deceased is being identified at this time.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.