The MBTA driver who plowed a bus into a guardrail over the Massachusetts Turnpike in Newton on Sunday had her right to drive revoked as an “immediate threat’’ to public safety, a spokeswoman for the Registry of Motor Vehicles said Wednesday.
Shanna Shaw, an 18-year veteran of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, is alleged by police to have caused a crash in Newton that left the front end of the bus suspended precariously over the turnpike and caused seven of the nine passengers on board to suffer minor injuries.
Sara Lavoie, a spokeswoman for the RMV, said Wednesday that both Shaw’s personal and commercial driver’s licenses have been suspended at the request of Newton officials under a law that allows that action if a person’s “operation of a motor vehicle poses an immediate threat to public safety.”
The driving ban is for an indefinite period, the RMV said.
Transit Police allege that surveillance video shows Shaw holding an item that appeared to be a cellphone in her left hand and a second object in her right hand as she turned the corner onto Washington Street. MBTA rules say that drivers are not allowed to have a cellphone in their possession while on the job, regardless of whether the phone is in use.
Earlier this week, Shaw, 42, was charged in Newton District Court with obstruction of justice. Transit Police said in a court filing that she originally claimed that the crash was caused by a bout of sneezing, but later changed her story multiple times and ultimately acknowledged she was holding a cellphone while driving.
Shaw is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday. She was also cited by Transit Police for speeding, operating to endanger, and impeded operation of a motor vehicle.
Shaw is suspended without pay, said MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo. The T’s investigation and disciplinary process have not yet concluded, he said.Martine Powers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @martinepowers.