HINGHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - The man accused of driving his vehicle through an Apple store in Hingham faced a judge Tuesday morning, a day after one person was killed and 19 were injured in the crash.
Bail was set at $100,000 for Bradley Rein, 53, who was arrested Monday night after an investigation by state and local police, according to Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz’s Office.
Rein’s attorney claimed in court that the crash was an accident, as the investigation into what caused the incident continues.
Police said that after the crash, he told officers that his foot got stuck on his SUV’s accelerator, causing him to drive into the Apple store at the Derby Street Shops in Hingham.
According to court documents, he told police he had been at the shopping plaza to replace the lenses in his eyeglasses, and that while leaving the parking lot afterwards, his accelerator became stuck. He said he attempted to use his brakes, but was not able to stop.
As of Tuesday, Rein has been charged with Reckless Motor Vehicle Homicide and Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle.
Speaking to reporters, District Attorney Tim Cruz said he was not going to speculate whether the crash was a mistake.
“I think when the evidence gets out there, when this matter goes forward, and people see the videos and things such as that, I think people will understand the dramatic situation and also the life-altering situation for the people that were involved in this,” Cruz said. “The people that saw this traumatic event, that jumped right in, and had been right there, I think that makes a big difference.”
Rein’s next trial date is set for Dec. 22, 2022. He has also been told that any attempt to leave the state would require court approval. If he were to post bail, the judge said, he would not be allowed to operate a motor vehicle during the case.
The Apple storefront at the Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham was boarded up by workers Monday, covering the massive hole where police say Rein’s 2019 Toyota 4Runner crashed through the glass, striking several people in the process.
Hingham Police said when first responders arrived soon after 911 calls came in at 10:45 a.m., they found store workers and bystanders rendering first aid to the 20 people injured in the crash.
One of the victims, a man from New Jersey identified as Kevin Bradley, 65, died at the scene while 17 people were taken to South Shore Hospital in Weymouth for treatment. Another two were transported to Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center, according to officials. As of Tuesday, BMC reported three patients were under their care.
“A huge bang, like not just like a glass breaking or something like that – it was a very loud bang,” one witness told 7NEWS.
Nearby shoppers described the initial confusion and chaos as bystanders began to approach the graphic scene, trying to figure out what had happened.
“It looked like a cloud of smoke, I thought – somebody sprayed something on there,” Mickey Finn said. “But (the vehicle) went right through and I looked and there were people laying in there – it didn’t look good.”
Other witnesses said the car was moving fast when it sped over the sidewalk, hitting shoppers there before plowing into the store and crashing into a back wall.
“(There were) multiple patients injured out in front of the store and in the store, including a few patients that were pinned against the wall by the vehicle,” said Hingham Fire Chief Steve Murphy.
Four the victims suffered critical injuries while Rein was left trapped in his vehicle before emergency responders arrived.
“(It’s an) absolute, unthinkable event that occurred at that store, when you’re just going there to buy a phone or get something fixed or whatever it may be,” Cruz said at the time. “We’re gonna go slow and steady with this and get the information as we get it.”
Following the crash, Apple released a statement saying the company was “devastated by the shocking events at Apple Derby Street (Monday) and the tragic loss of a professional who was onsite supporting recent construction at the store.”
“Our hearts go out to our team members and customers who were injured and all of those who were affected by this terrible incident,” the statement continued. “We are doing everything we can to support our team members and customers at this very difficult time.”
The crash itself was considered a mass casualty incident by officials, with injuries varying from life-threatening to limb-threatening, according to officials at South Shore Hospital.
“The scene was horrific – our daughter was seated outside in one of these silver (foil) blankets,” said John Dinanno, who’s daughter worked at the Apple store and was treated. “Fortunately, my daughter was able to tell us at that point that the nature of her injuries were minor. That was a great relief to us. Unfortunately, a lot of other people weren’t so lucky.”
Another victim’s family member said they were grateful another person at the store at the time of the crash was a nurse.
“There was a nurse in the store that was with her, with her injuries,” Susan Gamble said, after her niece was taken to South Shore Hospital. “She’s in pain – that’s all I know.”
Officials at the hospital cleared the emergency room as they prepared for patients. A spokesperson said the facility’s Level 2 Trauma, Emergency Medicine, and Surgical teams were mobilized for the event and, eventually, all patients were reunited with family members or loved ones
“We set up an EMS command,” said Dr. William Tollefson. “We were able to very quickly triage many critically ill patients.”
With crews still on scene at the Derby Street Shoppes on Tuesday morning, Hingham Police said the crash’s investigation was active and ongoing as investigators continue to interview witnesses and nearby workers.
Those who would like to donate to support the family of the victim who died in the crash can do so online at the family’s gofundme page.
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