State rep’s car “crunched” by duck boat

A Duck Boat gives tourists a scenic ride along State Street in downtown Boston on Wednesday, April 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

BOSTON (State House News Service) – A car driven by Rep. Thomas Sannicandro was struck by a large Boston Duck Tours vehicle Tuesday morning in front of the State House, and an aide to the Ashland Democrat said later that he was not injured.

Sannicandro told the News Service he was stuck in traffic and the duck boat, labeled “Arborway Alex,” hit him. The vehicle collided with the car, a Volvo station wagon, near the rear driver-side wheel and dented the door.

“I was sitting here and that’s when he crunched me,” Sannicandro said shortly after the accident.

The incident occurred around 10:40 a.m. on Beacon Street in front of the Fox25 News Beacon Hill studio. At the time of the accident, the sidewalks were filled with State House staffers and other lawmakers after a fire alarm earlier in the morning caused the building to be evacuated.

While still in the driver’s seat, Sannicandro called out to the boat’s driver, asking if he had seen the car.

“He said he didn’t see me, because I guess I was under the truck. Look at how big the front is,” Sannicandro said, pointing to the massive World War II-era troop transport craft now used as a popular sight-seeing tour vehicle.

The driver of the boat, who identified himself only as “Jumpin’ Jim,” declined to speak with a reporter at the scene and said the company would comment.

Bob Schwartz, a representative from Boston Duck Tours, told the News Service that in any accident scenario, the company exchanges insurance with the driver and allows police to determine fault. After Sannicandro moved his car onto a parking space on Bowdoin Street, the two drivers exchanged paperwork.

A witness to the accident also described the sound of the impact as a “crunch” and said he saw Sannicandro attempt to merge into the far left lane of Beacon Street before the turn onto Bowdoin Street. While moving slowly through traffic and at an angle to the street, the car was hit from behind by the Duck Boat, the witness said.

A Sannicandro aide said the lawmaker was not injured and the accident did not delay his schedule. The representative attended an 11:30 a.m. meeting of the Harm Reduction and Drug Law Reform Caucus, the aide said.

The boat stayed parked on Beacon Street for several minutes while Jumpin’ Jim spoke to Sannicandro and State House Rangers. Several children waiting to resume their tour said the accident did not ruin their day and quacked plastic noisemakers at passersby.

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