Driver charged in deadly Apple store crash says his foot got caught on the accelerator

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The Massachusetts motorist charged with crashing into an Apple store at a “constant high speed” told police his foot got stuck on the accelerator and failed to brake in time to avoid the deadly crash, authorities said Tuesday.

Bradley Rein, 53, made his first appearance in Hingham District Court, where Judge Heather Bradley ordered the defendant held in lieu of $100,000 bail and told him not to drive if he paid bail.

Has been charged with a felony misdemeanor motor vehicle reckless homicide and operation of an automobile, stemming from the accident Monday morning in Hingham, which is about 16 miles southeast of downtown Boston.

Police respond to the scene of an accident inside an Apple Store in Hingham, Massachusetts on November 21, 2022.
Police respond to the scene of an accident inside an Apple Store in Hingham, Massachusetts on November 21, 2022.Steven Senne/AP

kevin bradleyA 65-year-old resident of Wayne, New Jersey, was killed and at least 20 people were injured, authorities said.

“While driving in the Barnes & Noble area, Mr. Rein claims his right foot got stuck on the accelerator and his vehicle sped up,” according to a court document.

“Mr. Rein said he used his left foot to try to brake, but he was unable to stop the vehicle and the vehicle crashed into the front of the Apple Store. Mr. Rein said it all happened fast.”

Rein told investigators that he had no medical problems that could have affected his driving, and his breathalyzer test showed no traces of alcohol, according to the court document.

His 2019 Toyota 4Runner slammed into the glass front of the store, went through the sales floor and finally came to rest against the back wall, Plymouth County Assistant District Attorney David Cutshall told the court.

“Investigators interviewed witnesses and viewed surveillance video that appeared to show the dark-colored SUV traveling at a constant high speed down the lane of travel and directly toward the Apple Store,” Cutshall said.

He had no connection to anyone at the store, according to the defense attorney. Alison King, who had asked that bail be set at $20,000. The defendant’s lawyer did not dispute any of the facts of the case as stated by prosecutors in court.

The unemployed software vendor has lived in Massachusetts for 30 years and has long ties to the community, according to King, who repeatedly called Monday’s tragedy “an unfortunate accident.”

“As he explained, his foot got stuck on the accelerator; as he explained to me, it was between the accelerator pedal and the side and his foot got stuck,” King said. “He tried to move his foot to get it off the ground. He also tried to brake with the other foot while he was doing it, but he couldn’t. He’s really unlucky.”

Rein has a clean criminal record, although he was charged with allegedly driving under the influence in Vermont in December 2020. But that case was later dropped, attorneys for both sides said.

The defendant’s next court date is set for December 22.

He faces up to five years behind bars if convicted of the higher charge, a spokeswoman for the Plymouth County district attorney said, and up to two years for the misdemeanor.

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