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Former mayor Ray Flynn in car accident, not injured

Former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn was reportedly in a car accident on Flint Place Thursday afternoon, where police said a car hit a building.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

Former Boston mayor Ray Flynn lost consciousness while driving home from a workout Thursday afternoon and crashed his vehicle into a neighbor’s house in South Boston, Flynn and city officials said.

“Thank God nobody got hurt,” Flynn said in a statement released about nine hours after the crash, which occurred around 12:45 p.m. on Flint Place, a tiny private way where the former mayor lives off of Marine Road.

Flynn, 76, said that he was parking on the street after a workout at the Boston Athletic Club when he lost his bearings.

“I got weak and completely passed out,” he said. “Minutes later I woke up, but my car unfortunately had crashed into another house on my street. No neighbors around at the time. I received a concussion with many more tests to follow.”


Flynn praised the work of responding paramedics, firefighters, and police officers, and he also thanked his neighbors, who he said “were just great. Thanks to Mayor [Martin J.] Walsh, my family and so many Boston citizens for their sincere and kind expressions of concern.”

Walsh said in a statement that Flynn was taken to an area hospital as a precaution.

“I’m hoping that he has a speedy recovery,” Walsh said in an interview. “I spoke to the family earlier today to check in on the mayor. He was resting at that particular moment. I’m sure he is shaken up, but he and his family should know if they need anything we are here to support them.”

An accident was reported at 12:46 p.m. on Flint Place, Boston police said. The Inspectional Services Department was called to inspect the damaged home, which is located across from Flynn’s residence.

A Boston Police SUV remained parked in front of Flint Place shortly before 4 p.m., and contractors were boarding up a large hole at the base of the damaged house.


There was no answer when a reporter knocked on Flynn’s front door, which was adorned with an American flag, a red heart, and a holiday message that read “Joy.”

A neighbor, Greg McQuade, 27, said he was working in his apartment when he heard the crash.

“It almost sounded like an explosion, like a gas explosion,” McQuade said.

He said he later saw a black Ford SUV with bricks and glass on it, and saw Flynn being placed in an ambulance.

“I’m a Providence College grad, so I wanted to make sure he was all right,” McQuade said of Flynn, who once starred on the college’s basketball team.

“He was wearing a PC Friars shirt,” McQuade said. “He looked to be OK.”

He added, “He appeared to be physically healthy and had his wits about him.”

Another neighbor, Amanda Nee, 41, said she was showering when she heard the crash.

“I thought it was a dumpster from out on the street,” Nee said.

“They’re great,” Nee said of the Flynns. “I was sorry that it happened.”

A woman who recently moved into the damaged residence, Maggie Cole, 26, returned home shortly after 5 p.m. and said she received a text from the owner informing her there had been an accident.

She said the owner told her to grab as many things as she could because the house will be uninhabitable for an undetermined period.

Cole said she was unaware the former mayor lives across from her.


“I don’t even know how he could be going that fast, because it’s a little alley,” she said. “But is he OK?”

Informed that he was, Cole replied, “OK, that’s good.”

Flynn was first elected mayor in 1983, twice winning re-election. In 1993, he was appointed US ambassador to the Vatican. Walsh recently proposed that the Boston Marine Industrial Park be renamed after Flynn to honor his contributions to the city.

Another neighbor, Mary Carroll, 80, said she did not see the crash but offered kind words for Flynn.

“Ray’s a great guy,” she said. “He really is. Everybody likes Ray.”

Steve Annear and Martin Finucane of the Globe staff contributed to this report.