Embroiled in another driving controversy, Chelsea’s State Sen. Anthony Galluccio (D-Cambridge) said on Tuesday afternoon that he panicked and fled following a car accident on Sunday in Cambridge because of his bad driving record.
In a statement issued by e-mail on Tuesday, Galluccio did not indicate whether or not alcohol was involved, instead saying that his bad record caused him to make a bad decision.
“By now, it has been widely reported that I was in an accident on Sunday afternoon not far from my house,” he said. “When the accident occurred, because of my driving history, I panicked and left the scene. Although I had no reason to believe that there was any injury involved, there is no excuse for leaving the scene of an accident and I deeply regret doing so.”
On Sunday afternoon, Cambridge Police allege that Galluccio was operating a car that rear-ended another car in Cambridge. Apparently, after hitting the car, Galluccio fled the scene of the accident – which has caused criminal charges to be leveled against him.
Galluccio apparently turned himself in on Monday.
At the moment, Cambridge Police have charged him with leaving the scene of an accident causing injury and leaving the scene of an accident causing property damage.
He was not arrested, but will be summoned to court at a later date to address those charges and any others that may arise.
Cambridge Police allege that around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Galluccio rear-ended the vehicle, causing minor injuries to one of the passengers in the car that he hit. That passenger was treated at a local hospital.
Passengers in the car apparently took down his license plate and reported it to police. Officers ran the plate and contacted the senator to tell him they were looking for him.
He came to the station on Monday and Police interviewed him.
Galluccio’s statement indicated that he was the one to contact police, and police came to his home.
“I realized my serious error in judgment and recognized that I needed to report the accident,” he said. “The next morning, I notified the Cambridge Police Department. The police said they wanted to see the car, and I immediately invited them over to my house. I am in the process of reaching out to the other driver to offer my sincere apology. I have now turned the matter over to my insurance company and will take care of any damages from the accident.”
Meanwhile, Galluccio’s bad driving record has come into question once again as a result. He was convicted in 1984 and 1997 of driving under the influence of alcohol. In 2005, Galluccio caused a four-car accident in Boston, and though he admitted to having had some alcohol that night, the courts determined there wasn’t enough evidence to level charges against him.
Now, many quietly wonder if Galluccio fled the scene to avoid a third drunk driving offense – though he hasn’t been charged with any such crime and made no mention of alcohol in his statement.
A conviction on a third offense in Massachusetts carries a mandatory jail sentence of at least 150 days, but up to five years in State Prison. The sentence can be served in a treatment program, though. A person also has their license suspended for eight years.
Of course, none of that is relevant if Galluccio only left the scene of the accident or is only charged with those crimes.
Cambridge Police said they didn’t know if alcohol was involved because they interviewed him one day after the accident.
“Clearly, there is an extra burden on me because of my driving history and because of my position as an elected official, to be careful behind the wheel,” he wrote. “It was an accident, followed by an error in judgment, and I offer my sincerest apologies to the driver of the other car and his passengers, and to my constituents.”.