May 11, 2023

Details still emerging about car crash involving Mayor Wu in Boston Police vehicle

Updated at 2:18 p.m. June 7

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu was a passenger in an unmarked police vehicle that was involved in a car crash at an intersection in Roslindale on Tuesday.

According to a report from the Boston Police Department, the crash happened at 9:50 a.m. Tuesday, and the car carrying Wu had its lights and sirens activated as it moved through a red light at the intersection of Blakemore Street and Hyde Park Avenue. Footage of the crash obtained by Fox25 appears to show the vehicle getting hit on the driver's side while flashing its lights and entering the intersection to turn left.

The police report says the driver, Officer Keyanna Smith, stopped at the light before approaching the turn. Smith herself wrote the police report.

Smith was "unable to avoid the collision due to vehicle #1's fast approach and did not stop or slow down for the cruiser's lights and siren," the report states.

Afterward, the report says, Wu experienced some minor pain in her right side but declined medical attention. Smith was taken to the hospital with pain on her left side and was discharged later that day. The driver of the other vehicle had a young boy in the back seat, and they also declined medical attention, but were later taken to the hospital for evaluation.

"Thankfully no one sustained any major injuries," a spokesperson for the mayor's office said in a statement shared with GBH News Wednesday morning. "The Boston Police Department will conduct an investigation of the incident as they do with all crashes involving departmental motor vehicles."

In a video posted by WCVB on Wednesday, Wu told reporters there was no emergency taking place at the time of the crash, and expressed gratitude that no one was injured.

When asked if police vehicles should be able to use lights and sirens to get through traffic, Wu said, "I'm happy to make sure we are having that conversation. The first step is an internal review of every single incident that happens with a departmental vehicle, and then if there are things that need to come out of that, that's certainly what we're working to make sure that policies are clear and transparent and that they make sense."

It remains unclear exactly why the vehicle's lights and sirens were activated and where Wu was going. Her press office has not yet responded to those questions from GBH News, and the BPD did not immediately say if lights and sirens are routinely used to transport the mayor. Wu's only public event on Tuesday was a school-related announcement in Roxbury, which was at 11:30 a.m.

The crash is under investigation by the BPD, as is routine for incidents involving department vehicles.

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Alexi Cohan is a producer on Greater Boston. She is from East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, and currently lives in the Boston area.

Esteban is a reporter for GBH News. Born and raised in Texas, he interned at the San Antonio Express-News, NPR's "All Things Considered," and The Dallas Morning News before coming to Boston. He's a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper, The Mercury, and was a DJ for Radio UTD.