Questions Surround Patrick Kennedy's Car Crash

Susan Jones | Senior Editor | Friday, May 05, 2006

Questions Surround Patrick Kennedy's Car Crash

(CNSNews.com) - He says medication made him do it: Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), the son of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) says he "consumed no alcohol" before crashing his car near Capitol Hill in the middle of the night Thursday.

Capitol Police gave him a ride home without conducting a sobriety test, even though Patrick Kennedy appeared to be intoxicated, according to an Associated Press report quoting Louis Cannon, president of the Washington Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police.

"Some time around 2:45 a.m., I drove the few blocks to the Capitol Complex believing I needed to vote," Kennedy said in a statement released to the news media.

"Apparently, I was disoriented from the medication. At that time, I was involved in a one-car incident in which my car hit the security barrier at the corner of 1\super st\nosupersub and C St., S.E. At no time before the incident did I consume any alcohol.

"At the time of the accident, I was instructed to park my car and was driven home by the United States Capitol Police. At no time did I ask for any special consideration, I simply complied with what the officers asked me to do.

Kennedy said he has contacted the chief of the Capitol Police and offered to meet with officers in the spirit of full cooperation.

Kennedy said he had taken two prescription drugs earlier that evening, including Phenergan, an anti-nausea medication for gastroenteritis; and the sleep medication Ambien that supposedly makes some people do strange things without fully waking up.

Recent press reports have mentioned Ambien patients who eat while sleeping, wander off, or unintentionally engage in other strange behaviors.

Some reports say the drug is addictive and may be abused.

The Fraternal Order of Police is demanding an investigation into why Kennedy was not given a sobriety test -- and why two sergeants on the scene ordered other officers to leave.

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