Bus driver won’t be cited in Edgartown crash

Police investigations indicate he wasn’t at fault.

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Police say the bus driver involved in this crash won't be cited. -Brian Dowd

The driver of a Vineyard Transit Authority bus was driving less than 10 mph when he struck two people on Church Street in Edgartown on July 26, and Edgartown investigators have recommended that he not be cited in the crash, police reports released Tuesday afternoon state.

Edgartown Police Chief Bruce McNamee told The Times a State Police accident reconstruction team has come to the same conclusion, though that report has not yet been released.

The accident appears to be just that, an unfortunate mishap. “That’s it,” McNamee told The Times.

The documents also note for the first time the names of two men injured in the crash — Michael Kelly, 44, of Quincy and Paul O’Grady, 68, of Pembroke. A woman, Pansy Griffiths, 68, of Oak Bluffs was the passenger injured.

Another report shows that Peter Magierski, the bus driver involved, had been pulled over for erratic operation five days before the accident after reports he was “all over the road.” At the time, Magierski, 33, told the officer he was getting only four to five hours of sleep working two jobs, the report states. “Peter admitted that the lack of sleep was affecting his ability to operate the bus, and at one point he felt himself going over the marked line in the road,” the report states.

Knowing the “optics looked bad,” McNamee called in the State Police. “I wanted a fresh set of eyes on it,” he said.

Both Edgartown and State Police concluded that fatigue did not play a role in the July 26 crash. Magierski, who has voluntarily given up his job as a bus driver, quit his second job between the stop and the crash. He told police he was getting eight to nine hours of “amazing” sleep a night, according to the report.

Kelly was the more seriously hurt of the two pedestrians, suffering fractures to his spine and possible internal injuries, according to the reports. He was taken to a Boston hospital, and released two days after the crash.

O’Grady was treated and released from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

Neither of the men remembered much about being struck, according to the reports. The crash occurred near the intersection of Main and Church streets, as the bus was turning the corner. The two men were crossing diagonally across Church Street toward 19 Raw when they were struck, the report states.

“Magierski stated he immediately applied the brakes, but it was too late, and he struck the males with the front side of the bus,” the report states. Video evidence from the bus showed the driver was whistling to the music onboard just prior to the crash. “Griffiths stated that prior to the accident on Church Street, the ride on the bus was ‘uneventful’,” the report states.

One witness described the impact as sounding as if the bus hit a utility pole.

Two women nearby rushed to the aid of Kelly and O’Grady, while others called 911.

Magierski is described in the report as being “visibly distraught over the incident, and was emotional and crying throughout the conversation.” Alcohol and drugs were ruled out as factors by breath and urine tests.

The police reports also indicate the two men were not in a crosswalk. In his interview with Edgartown and State Police, Magierski described the bus as having “terrible view site,” and that “it was so dark” on Church Street.

McNamee said a bulb that was out on Church Street has since been replaced, though the intersection itself is brightly lit by a streetlight on Main Street.