Boston, MA – A member of the Boston City Council whose driver’s license has been revoked for a decade crashed into an 83-year-old woman’s home in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood while traveling more than twice the posted speed limit, according to police.
The incident occurred as Boston City Councilor Kendra Lara was driving along Centre Street with her seven-year-old son at about 4:27 p.m. on June 30, the Boston Herald reported.
Lara later claimed she was forced to swerve to avoid hitting a driver who was pulling out of a parking spot, at which point she crossed over the double-yellow line and slammed into the front porch of a home located at 803 Centre Street, WCVB reported.
Her son – who was not in a safety booster seat – suffered a deep laceration near his eye as a result of the wreck.
“I just swerved out of the way and went straight into that front,” Lara told police in recently-released bodycam footage. “I just couldn’t hit the brakes fast enough before I hit…”
“He did not check his mirrors,” she added. “The SUV came right in front of me.”
Although Lara denied she was speeding, investigators have since determined she was allegedly traveling at least 53 miles per hour in the 25-mile-per-hour zone when the incident occurred, WCVB reported.
The other driver remained at the scene and gave police his account of what occurred.
“I was just beginning to pull out, she came like a bat out of hell and just swerved,” he said, according to the Boston Herald. “It was bizarre.”
The man said he never even pulled out of the parking spot before Lara drove into the house.
The footage showed police and medics tending to Lara and her son before the little boy was transported to Boston Children’s Hospital by ambulance.
Police then began investigating the crash scene.
“The car hit the foundation of my house,” the 83-year-old homeowner, Georgia Kalogerakis, told CBS News. “It moved the porch over. Forget about the bush and the fence.”
Despite the damage to her property, the first thing Kalogerakis asked police about when they came to speak with her was if the occupants inside the car were going to be okay, the Boston Herald reported.
Investigators noticed Lara’s car had an expired registration tag on the license plate and paperwork inside the vehicle that indicated she worked for the city, bodycam footage showed.
Police also discovered Lara’s driver’s license had been revoked for 10 years prior to the wreck and that she lied to them when she told them she didn’t have her license on her but that she could bring it to them, the Boston Herald reported.
Lara has been charged with negligent operation of a motor vehicle, permitting bodily injury to a child under 14 years old, speeding, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, driving an uninsured vehicle, driving with a suspended license, driving an unregistered vehicle, not placing a child under eight years old and 58 inches in a car seat, and failing to wear a seatbelt.
She pleaded not guilty to all charges during her arraignment hearing earlier this week, the Boston Herald reported.
Boston City Councilor Kendra Lara making a statement before a court hearing. She was summonsed following a crash in JP. She allegedly drove into a house. Acc to police report: Her license was revoked at the time, she was going twice the speed limit, her son was not in a booster. pic.twitter.com/oGUJieSgMZ
— Sera Congi (@seracongi) July 19, 2023
“There are often circumstances that prevent good people from checking off all of their boxes and that sometimes manifest themselves as things like unpaid fines,” Lara told WCVB on Wednesday. “I plan to really engage with this process, and I have full faith and trust that the court is going to handle this with integrity.”
Lara was released without bail after her arraignment on Wednesday and was ordered not to drive without a valid license, CBS News reported.
Her pretrial hearing is slated for August 16.
“I know, as an elected official, that I have to hold myself to a higher standard and I intend to do that,” the city councilor told WCVB. “And I also know that because of the situation I find myself in today, I understand intimately the challenges that my constituents are struggling with.”
Prior to heading into her court hearing on Wednesday, Lara told reporters she wants to be “fully accountable” for her “mistake,” CBS News reported.
But Kalogerakis, a retired teacher, said she hasn’t heard a word from Lara since the city councilor crashed the uninsured vehicle into her home.
Listen to the owner of the home Kendra Lara drove through. This is heartbreaking. Absolutely no remorse from these people. The next clip WBZ cuts to is Tania Fernandes defending Lara, saying “you can’t kick people when they’re down.” Absolute clown show. pic.twitter.com/FuQWA3wkPI
— Boston Globe Pitchbot (@BostonSatire) July 19, 2023
“We have to be responsible for our actions,” Kalogerakis told WCVB. “There’s been no acknowledgment on her part of her actions. No contact. No indication of remorse. No concern for the stress she caused me and my family.”
Lara said she has no intention of stepping down from her role as a city councilor, CBS News reported.
She is up for reelection later this year.