Collision of hotel van, car kills two near Logan Airport

Two people were killed in a car crash  near Logan airport Wednesday.
Keith Viglione for the Boston Globe
Two people were killed in a car crash near Logan Airport Wednesday.

Joseph Rodriguez’s wife remembers getting into the hotel shuttle at Logan Airport a little after 1 a.m. Wednesday, headed for the Hampton Inn in Revere. She remembers that her husband took a seat in the back and their friend sat to the side. She remembers riding for five minutes on what should have been a short, routine trip, the final leg of a long travel day from Texas.

Then, nothing. When she woke up after the crash, she was face-down, surrounded by broken glass on Route 1A North near the Ted Williams Tunnel. She tried to get up, but she couldn’t move. A police officer told her an ambulance was coming.

“Oh! Oh!” she cried out, as she recounted those first terrible moments of consciousness. “I didn’t see my husband.”


Joseph Rodriguez, 59, and Sandra Arreola, 47, both of El Paso, were killed when a Subaru Legacy rear-ended the shuttle bus, according to State Police. Three people, including Rodriguez’s wife, were injured. During a telephone interview from her hospital bed, Rodriguez’s wife spoke briefly because she was in pain.

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“He was an excellent person,” she said of her husband. “I have no words to express. He was the best husband.”

Rodriguez and his wife had come to Boston to help a friend move into Northeastern University, she said.

Authorities provided few details about the crash, and did not say whether the driver of the Subara was speeding or may have been impaired. In a statement, State Police said they were investigating to “determine if criminal charges will be sought.”

The fatal crash occurred just minutes from the airport, on a section of road distinctly familiar to regular travelers.


The collision sent the van veering left, into a concrete barrier. The impact then pushed it back to the right, slamming into a roadside barrier, State Police said in a statement. Arreola and Joseph Rodriguez were thrown from the van and pronounced dead at the scene, State Police spokesman David Procopio said.

The courtesy van is equipped with seat belts, but police said they did not know if the passengers were wearing them.

One of Arreola’s former El Paso neighbors, reached by telephone, said Arreola moved several weeks ago and the house she had lived in is for sale. The neighbor did not know where the family had moved.

Among the injured: the shuttle driver, a 53-year-old East Boston man, who remained hospitalized Wednesday afternoon but is expected to survive; Rodriguez’s wife, who is 57; and another passenger, a 45-year-old man from Tampa, who was treated at Tufts Medical Center and released, police said.

The driver and owner of the 2005 Subaru, a 27-year-old Swampscott man, was also injured but is expected to survive. He remained at Tufts Medical Wednesday afternoon, police said.


State Police have not released the names of the injured.

There are MassDOT cameras in the area of the crash. State Police said they have asked the transportation agency not to release the video while the investigation is ongoing.

The shuttle van was regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the state Registry of Motor Vehicles, according to a spokesman for the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

Courtesy shuttles are a common sight in and around Logan Airport. A quick check Wednesday of a dozen major chain hotels near Logan showed that each offers a shuttle to the airport, and many of the hotels operate their shuttles around the clock.

Sean Smyth and John R. Ellement of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Evan Allen can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @evanmallen. Mark Arsenault can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @bostonglobemark.