Rhode Island congressman Patrick Kennedy involved in car accident near U.S. Capitol

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Friday, May 5, 2006

COngressman Patrick J. Kennedy, representative of the first district of Rhode Island.

U.S. Representative Patrick J. Kennedy (D-RI), son of Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy, was involved in a traffic accident near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Capitol Hill Police reported that Kennedy was alone his 1997 Ford Mustang when the accident occurred Thursday at about 2:45 a.m. EDT (0645 UTC) near the 100 block of C Street SE. Police say his eyes were red and watery, and he was unbalanced and had slurred speech. Police also say that Kennedy had received three "notices of infractions" that are connected with the crash.

According to the police report, Kennedy drove his car into a security barrier near the Capitol building. When questioned by the police, he told them that he was "headed to the Capitol to make a vote," when no votes were scheduled for that time of the morning.

Kennedy said in a written statement that he had returned home around midnight and had taken the sleep aid Ambien and the anti-nausea drug Phenergan, both of which are known to cause drowsiness and sedation. He awakened a couple hours later and was "disoriented" when the incident occurred. He also said that "at no time before the accident" did he take alcohol, and pledged to cooperate in any investigation.

Today, Kennedy said, "Apparently, I was disoriented from the medication" and that he "never asked for any preferential treatment." He also announced that he is checking himself into the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

"I know I need help. As in every recovery, each day has its ups and downs.," added Kennedy. This is not the first time Kennedy has been to the Mayo Clinic. Last Christmas, Kennedy spent time at the clinic and went back to work after he was "feeling focused and in good shape."

However; Robin Costello, spokeswoman for Kennedy said, "we have no knowledge of any citations," but she did admit that a report was filed.

Capitol Police have not commented on the report or allegations, but Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, Capitol Police spokeswoman did say, "The United States Capitol Police are continuing to investigate."

It is not known whether any sobriety test or arrest was made. Kennedy was not injured.

 
This story has updates
 
See Rhode Island representative Patrick Kennedy pleads guilty to DUI, June 13, 2006
 

Sources

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