Friday, May 05, 2006
The Legacy Continues
Congressman Kennedy blames accident on medications
5/5/2006, 5:01 a.m. ET
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy says he'd taken a prescription anti-nausea drug that can cause drowsiness, but consumed no alcohol, before crashing his car near the Capitol. In a statement, Kennedy, D-R.I., said the attending physician for Congress had prescribed Phenergan to treat Kennedy's gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines. Kennedy said that after working Wednesday evening he went home and took "prescribed" amounts of Phenergan and Ambien, another drug that he sometimes takes to fall asleep. In his statement, Kennedy said he was apparently disoriented from the drugs when he got up a little before 3 a.m. Thursday and drove to the Capitol thinking he needed to be present for a vote. "At no time before the incident did I consume any alcohol," he said. Louis P. Cannon, president of the Washington chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, who was not on the scene, said the congressman had appeared intoxicated when he crashed his Ford Mustang into a barrier on Capitol Hill. Cannon said the officers involved in the accident were instructed by an official "above the rank of patrolman" to take Kennedy home and no sobriety tests were conducted at the scene. A letter written by a Capitol Police officer to Acting Chief Christopher McGaffin said Kennedy appeared to be staggering when he left the vehicle after the crash about 3 a.m. The letter was first reported by Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper. Kennedy reportedly told the police he was late for a vote, but the final vote of the night had taken place some six hours earlier.The Capitol Police did not return phone calls for comment.
This is a photo of Patrick's father who had his own little incident on Cape Cod at Chappaquiddick in 1969. At least no one died this time. As I write this it is being aired on ABC's Good Morning America. Good!