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MBTA employee killed on the job was loving mother of twins, family says

Sanyi Harris had recently bought a home in Brockton for her kids.

Sanyi K. Harris, an MBTA bus driver killed in an accident at the Quincy Center Station busway Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in an undated photo.
Sanyi K. Harris, an MBTA bus driver killed in an accident at the Quincy Center Station busway Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in an undated photo.Family photo

MBTA bus driver Sanyi K. Harris was a dedicated mother of twins who had celebrated their 21st birthday just one week before she died in a crash at the Quincy Center Station busway on Saturday, her family said.

Harris, who was called Keni by her loved ones, worked hard for her two children, wrote her sister Chala Harris in a GoFundMe post. In the fall of 2018, she was able to buy a house on a quiet Brockton street that she hoped would be a home for her kids.

“Keni pushed through the limitations that others gave her," Chala Harris wrote. "Keni made a pledge to herself to provide and supply her children with a stable and loving life. Keni always showed up to work with the motivation and drive to do the job assigned to her. The compassion she had to provide for her family gave her the strength to push forward and ensure her children and her loved ones, never went without.”

The family is raising money in hopes that Harris’s children will be able to afford to stay in the home.

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Little information has been released about the crash that killed Harris, 45.

First responders were called to the busway at Quincy Center Station about 12:45 p.m. Saturday. A woman had been pulled from under a bus, Quincy firefighters said Saturday. She was later pronounced dead.

State Police troopers assigned to the office of Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey are investigating her death, as they do every other unattended death in the county, a spokesman said Sunday. Investigators do not suspect foul play, a spokesman for Morrissey said.

In a statement released by a lawyer, Harris’s family members said they will wait to see what the investigation reveals.

“We are deeply shocked, saddened, and struggling to come to terms with Sanyi’s untimely passing,” family members said in a statement released by their lawyer, Richard Gedeon.

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Meanwhile, the MBTA’s general manager and the president of the union that represented Harris during her 9 years with the agency expressed condolences and said they will “have no further comment until the investigation is complete.”

“Bus Operators perform a difficult job and are crucial to the delivery of the MBTA’s core services,” said MBTA general manager Steve Poftak and Boston Carmen’s Union president Jim Evers in a joint statement Monday. “Sanyi’s death is an immense tragedy and her family, friends, and colleagues are owed a thorough investigation into the circumstances to determine the cause of this accident, as well as any potential risks that could have been contributing factors.”

The MBTA and the union “will ensure that all appropriate funeral expenses are covered,” MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said.

Grief counseling for MBTA employees is available 24 hours a day at 617-222-5381.

Globe Correspondents Jeremy C. Fox and Breanne Kovatch contributed reporting.


Gal Tziperman Lotan can be reached at gal.lotan@globe.com or at 617-929-2043.