T UNAWARE OF DRIVER’S TROUBLES
Carried gun onboard, has extensive driving record
An MBTA trolley driver now facing criminal charges after crashing a Mattapan trolley into another train late last year has an eightpage driving record, with multiple license suspensions while he worked at the T — violations the agency said it wasn’t aware of at the time.
Leroy Mattison, 42, is due to be arraigned today in Dorchester District Court in connection with the Dec. 29 crash that injured 17 people, after transit police said he was using his cellphone to delete a Reddit.com post when he accidentally rammed another stopped trolley. He also had a loaded gun in his backpack on the train.
Mattison, who says he has a firearms license, defended himself in a phone interview yesterday, saying he’s “not a bad person” and hopes that everyone injured is “safe.”
He also acknowledged having a lengthy driving record, which shows that at the time of the crash, the Registry of Motor Vehicles had put a hold on his license preventing him from renewing it when it expires because he hadn’t paid “outstanding obligations” in Quincy and Malden. Officials say those are often unpaid tickets or excise taxes.
“I’m not a bad driver,” said Mattison, whose license was twice suspended for 60 days, first in 2007, including after driving an unregistered car, and in 2003, after various incidents, according to RMV records.
“My driving record in the past was basically driving uninsured. What can I say? It’s going to be on there. It’s not like I was in accidents or anything,” Mattison said.
But Mattison acknowledged he was in one accident while driving his own car in January 2015, which he said came during the height of one of that season’s snowstorms. “It was the blizzard,” he said. “I was going down a steep hill and it slid out, I couldn’t control it.”
Mattison, who had worked for the T since 2001 before being fired in wake of the December crash, said he notified the T when his license was suspended. But a T spokesman disputed that, saying the agency had “no evidence that he selfreported the suspensions.”
The T now receives automatic updates from the RMV when an operator’s license is revoked or suspended.
“If he were still employed by the MBTA, he’d be disciplined for these violations,” said T spokesman Joe Pesaturo. But the fact that Mattison wouldn’t have been allowed to renew his license as of December wouldn’t trigger an automatic warning to the T, he said.
Mattison declined to discuss the current charges against him, which include common carrier’s gross negligence, witness intimidation and using a cellphone while working as a public transportation operator. Transit police said Mattison had “intentionally misled” cops during the investigation, including lying to them “because he was concerned about losing his employment.”
Transit police said they’d also seek charges in Malden for improper storage of a firearm. RMV records show his license was again suspended as of Monday due to a Malden warrant.
‘I’M NOT A BAD DRIVER’: First responders evacuate passengers Dec. 29 from the scene of a trolley collision near the Cedar Grove Station in Boston. The trolley driver, who has an eight-page driving record and multiple license suspensions, is facing criminal charges.