HINGHAM – A 53-year-old man told police on Monday that his foot got stuck on the gas pedal of his 2019 Toyota 4Runner, causing him to storm the Apple Store at the Derby Street store. One person died and at least 19 were injured, five of whom were taken to hospitals in Boston.
Bradley Rein, of 108 Bicton Road, Hingham, faced Judge Heather Bradley at Hingham Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday for reckless driving Resulting in motor vehicle homicide, felony and reckless driving misdemeanor. Bail was set at $100,000 when he appeared in court.
He is not allowed to drive while the case is pending, and he must seek permission from the court to leave the state. He will return to court on December 22.
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“While the outcome of this accident was horrific … it was what it was. It was an accident,” said Alison King, Rein’s court-appointed attorney. “He cooperated with the police and was not under the influence of alcohol. … It’s really unfortunate.”
State trooper Andrew Chiachio wrote in a police report: “While driving in the Barnes and Noble area, Mr. Rein stated that his right foot was stuck on the gas pedal and his vehicle accelerated. Mr. Rein stated that he tried to brake with his left foot. Unable to stop the vehicle, it crashed through the front of the Apple store.”
Chiachio said Rein told him he was at the Derby Street Shops having his eyeglass lenses repaired, which he was not wearing at the time of the accident. He underwent an alcohol breath test at the police station and had a blood alcohol level of 0.00%.
King said Rein, who lived in Hingham for a year and has two children, had no connection to the store or any of the victims. He has no criminal record in Massachusetts. He was charged with DUI in Vermont a few years ago, but that charge has since been dropped.
Kevin Bradley, 65, of New Jersey, died in the crash around 10:45 a.m. Monday. Police said Bradley was working outside when he was shot and his body was found 10 to 15 feet inside the store. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
After smashing through the glass storefront, the SUV continued towards the back wall of the store, trapping several people inside. The store entrance is approximately 30 feet from the parking lot.
“Most (victims) suffered serious bodily injuries,” Assistant District Attorney David Cutshell said.
“There are a lot of questions, and I don’t have a lot of answers for you,” Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz said outside the courthouse on Tuesday.
He praised Derby Street shoppers and staff for their quick work on site.
“I think they saved a lot of lives,” he said.
The SUV was removed from the Apple store on Monday afternoon, and workers had begun boarding the store ahead of the busy Thanksgiving shopping week. The Derby Street store reopened at 10am on Tuesday but quieted down around 11am, with Christmas music playing from outdoor speakers and few shoppers.
“As we reopen today, please know that our thoughts are with the victims, their families and all those involved in yesterday’s tragedy,” Derby Street said in a statement on Tuesday morning. Will do everything in my power to continue showing up for our incredible community.”
Construction crews covered the front of the Apple store with plywood and painted it white. A policeman stood on the sidewalk ahead. A small bouquet of flowers remains nearby.
“Sending all our peace and love,” one note read.
Sarenna Gomes of Rockland at the mall on Tuesday. She said she had heard what happened, but was not nervous when she returned to her usual shopping spot.
“It’s frustrating, it’s sad,” she said. “I don’t understand how people can do something like that.”
Muriel Corbett, of Norwell, said she was “careful” shopping on Tuesday after Monday’s crash. Her husband was at the Apple store the night before.
“It really scares me to have my daughter with me,” she said. “Anything can happen at any time.”
Apple announced Monday afternoon that the Hingham store will remain closed indefinitely.
“We are devastated by today’s shocking incident on Apple Derby Street and the tragic loss of the professionals who were on site to support the store’s recent construction,” the company said. All those affected by this horrific incident. We are doing everything we can to support our team members and customers during this very difficult time. “
Hingham Fire Chief Steve Murphy said bystanders provided first aid to help the injured. A total of 14 ambulances and seven fire engines responded, including those as far away as Cohasset and Hull. Most were taken to South Shore Hospital, but two were taken to Boston Hospital in critical condition. There was no update on their status at 7.50am on Tuesday morning.
Several victims arrived at Weymouth Hospital in life-threatening conditions, Dr William Tollefsen, medical director of emergency medical services and mobile integrated healthcare for South Shore Health, told reporters. Others suffered head injuries, lower body injuries and injuries to all four limbs.
“Once we were able, we established an EMS order,” he said. “We were able to triage a lot of critically ill patients very quickly.”
Cruz said he didn’t know how fast the SUV was going, but did say people were walking on the sidewalk in front of the store when the crash happened.
“The Apple Store is a very busy place,” he said. “It’s the Monday of the holiday week. I don’t know exactly how many people there are. I’m sure we’ll find out. … We’re going to go slow and steady with this and get the information we get.”
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Chrissy Ramos was shopping at a Barnes and Noble a few blocks away when the accident happened.
“I came out and saw people running and there was a big hole in the window,” she said.
Frank O’Brien, who was shopping on Derby Street at the time, wondered how fast a car would have to go to smash through the glass in front of the store.
“You have to really pick up speed to get to the storage area in the back of the Apple store,” he said.
“It sounded like an explosion,” said a witness, who was shopping at J. Crew when the crash occurred.
Derby Street Shops, located at 92-98 Derby St. in Hingham, is a collection of 64 shops and restaurants. The 4,000-square-foot Apple Store is located behind an outdoor shopping plaza next to Burton’s Grill. It opened in 2006.
This story will be updated regularly as more information becomes available.
Reporters Mary Whitfill, Joel Barnes and Fred Hanson and photographer Greg Derr contributed to this report.
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