Murray’s mystery ride

The Boston Herald’s Howie Carr asks the question everyone has been wondering this week: What was Lt. Gov. Tim Murray really doing in the predawn hours on Wednesday when he totaled his state-issued car?

Murray says he was out surveying storm damage and looking for coffee and a Herald. He says he drove 23 miles from his home in Worcester up Interstate 190 to Route 2 before turning around and heading back. About halfway home, in Sterling, he says he skidded on some black ice and lost control of the car, which veered off the road and ended smashed against a rock ledge. The lucky-to-be-alive Murray escaped with minor cuts.

Murray says no one was with him and he wasn’t speeding. He also took a Breathalyzer to prove he wasn’t drinking. The State Police back him up.

Carr hints that someone is lying, but he’s got no proof and it doesn’t appear there is any. What’s puzzling is why Murray would get up at around 4 a.m. to go looking for a coffee (“have you ever heard of these new drip-coffee makers?” Carr asks) and a Herald (“after midnight, you can read tomorrow’s edition online. You didn’t need to take your life into your hands.”)

The Lynn Item (via State House News) asked the lieutenant governor what kind of storm damage he expected to see at 5 a.m., when it was still pitch dark outside.

“I was driving up in the area seeing what was going on, on 190,” he said. “Turned around. Came back. I drive around routinely. I think people in the city, people around Central Mass., get constituent work from me at a lot of different times.”

The Herald, in its news story, says Murray called himself “an early riser.” The lieutenant governor added: “It’s not uncommon sometimes for me to wake up early … to maybe go out and grab a coffee, return some emails, make a phone call or two, pick up the Boston Herald, which does not deliver to Worcester as far as I know.”

According to the Herald, Murray has five prior incidents on his RMV driving record — from speeding in 2006 to improper equipment in 1987.

                                                                                                                                                    –BRUCE MOHL


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