Special Needs Van Driver Charged With OUI In Newton Crash, 13 Hurt

NEWTON (CBS) – Thirteen people were hurt when a van carrying special needs adults rear-ended a garbage truck in West Newton Monday morning.

It happened around 9:15 a.m. at the corner of Highland Street and Lockwood Road.

Ten of the injured were taken to Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Three others went to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports

Newton Police Lieutenant Bruce Apotheker told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 none of the injuries were life-threatening.

One victim was trapped and had to be rescued with the Jaws of Life.

It’s not clear yet what caused the accident.

The driver, 51-year-old Addis Gabriel Woldeguiorguis of Dorchester, at first reportedly said he was blinded by the sun.

He was later was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs.

More from Doug Cope
  • Nosgood4me

    What do you expect. From what I’ve seen in these care givers , they are more interested in being plugged into ipods or cell phones, than watching the people their in charge of .

    Some of these care givers ive seen i wouldnt hire to remove dog feces from yards let alone be given charge of people… Nice screening job ..Legalize pot ! that would solve this from ever happening..

  • Beth MacLellan

    As a sibling of one of the passengers on that van,I am furious and upset that this “person” was trusted to drive the most innocent of innocent group of folks out there..It breaks my heart to see MY SISTER on a back board,scared to death when this incident could have been avoided if a competent person was transporting her.

    • Debbie


      I’m really sorry to hear that your sister was injured in the accident, and I’m sending my prayers for a fast and full recovery.

      My sister lives in a group home in West Newton, and she takes a van like this to her program in Needham. I was on pins and needles until I confirmed that she had gotten there safely. As relieved as I was, I was still angered that this could ever happen, and I’ve been concerned for the victims.

      Sending your sister a hug…


    • Nelson

      As the son of the driver; I apologize to everyone that had family members involved. Beth, unfortunately people make really horrible choices and the rest of us have to pay for it. We as a family have had 30 years of dealing with this horrific nonsense. Once again, I am so very sorry to the trauma caused to you and your family. I hope he pays for his actions and your sister is okay.

  • jshmoe

    They should do random drug testing, eventually testing everyone. We need to get these abusers off the road before they kill someone.

  • emom

    I am not surprised,, some of these people drive like maniacs.. On their cells, smoking, driving to fast,,, Drugs does not surprise me.. Just like drunk drivers. However I see the same ones over and over do this,,, I have reported some BUT they still drive… I wonder How long some have had their license. BLINDED by the sun,, It can be possible,,, and if so why tailgate so close to a truck,, No its more of not paying attention .. I hope in light of this that they look into the history of problems with this group of van drivers and see if there are other violations…These people transport the disabled and should be held at a high degree for safety. These kind of drivers should be tested periodically, as should anyone that is the transportation field,,,, We have to many transportation people that are problems, School bus drivers, MBTA, Planes, trains, why not test them all. When will someone start to truly realize there is a need for random testing of safety,,, Big rigs sometimes get tested , thou not enough. I wonder how many other violations the may have . I wonder how many other transportation companies have similar violations… I had one rear end me once all because he was stupid enough to look for something between the seats while driving… and he had a few passengers, yet tried to lie about it later,, They paid big.

    • Two Cents

      There is already a law requiring random drug testing for people in safety sensitive positions, including School Bus Drivers, MBTA and van drivers, among others. The problem is that employers are not following the law and the Registry and DOT are not able to police every employer. Drivers are aware of the situation but do not turn their employers into the proper authorities. I work for an employer who does not follow the law and random drug test their employees, they play stupid about all regulations regarding the buses. I found another part time employer who does random test and continue to work for the employer who doesn’t. I have notified the Registry and feel that the situation will be remedied. I truly hope that everyone involved in this accident recovers completely, not just physically, but emotionally as well. I also hope that it brings to light the need for employers to follow all laws regarding transporting passengers and the proper agencies to conduct audits of the transportation companies.

      I drive a school bus for a public school. Parents, call your school committee and ask some questions, because the transportation department is neglected in order to safe big on the budget. I only let my child ride a bus if I’m driving.

  • Nosgood4me

    They have laxed..Sadly druggies know how fool the system and even get help from other employees to skirt FRA or DOT tests. more random surprise testing should be done.
    Worst part is, in transportation is this all a mute point when people in this state have a degree in tolerating a drug abusing life style ? .. it seams from past comments from readers ( lately ) that even ” we ” all need to stop wasting law enforcements time and to put an end to raiding at home drug manufacturers ( yes growers ) and legalize Marijuana..

    and then a tragic story like this pops up days later..
    But again the ( self professed majority )… drug enthusiasts..
    tell us this type of thing doesn’t happen baked..

    If you cannot speak up for yourself and you have to depend on others to take care of you watch you and drive you.. loved ones better take a real hard look at these people driving and walking the needy around chances are they themselves had someone watching them ( ex con ) as well ,, Who ever did the hiring and background check failed these people its very sad. again someone else hurt over
    thoughtless self-indulgent behaviour. that go’s for doing everything else but watching the road while driving . I hope is all is ok ..

  • njuguna muigai

    when one applies driver,s job one has to provide driving record,my self i dont see any logic of providing driving records most accindents happens are caused by drivers who were hired for they had excellent driving records.i once thought drivers in america dont cause accidents,because i tried to apply drivers job only to meet tough rules and i didnt have experience on americans highways, but iam a good driver even if not better

    • Nosgood4me

      Some drivers will show in a background check history of past behaviors during the screening process… One would hope that a responsible person who hires , would see negative driving history and not hire them.

      First time applicants looking into the transportation fields on their physicals are subject to drug screening process.

      Fact that someone with a great driver history or never been caught . Finds him/herself in a accident while under the influence would happen too .

      The idea is to protect people. If someone is stupid enough to risk a great driving record history and risk killing or hurting others under the influence on the first time is unfortunate and really can’t be stopped.

      But with background checks you can make an effort to cut down on the number of people who show a pattern history that would show an undesirable / risk to the company or public ( one would think )

      It often seams that rules and law apply to certain people. and some people just make it difficult to live here , when others don’t care
      in a population filled with self centered people in this state. victims are made more of a victim here.
      Good luck trying too assimilate. I’ve lived here all my life and still fighting with educated dolts. Academically brilliant , but in common sense lacking

  • http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/08/02/prosecutor-special-needs-van-driver-on-oxycodone-before-newton-crash/ Prosecutor: Special Needs Van Driver On Oxycodone Before Newton Crash « CBS Boston

    […] said he was under the influence of oxycodone when the van he was driving crashed into a trash truck on Monday. Thirteen people were injured, three of them […]

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