Kerry Kennedy: Doctors Say Seizure Caused Accident

Governor's former wife and member of the Kennedy family speaks out publicly for first time since Friday's North Castle arrest.

says that a seizure is to blame for her car accident on Friday, based on findings from doctors.

Speaking out for the first time since she was arrested after hitting a tractor trailer with her car, Kennedy talked to reporters after her Tuesday arraignment at North Castle town court on her driving while ability impaired charge; she pleaded not guilty. Kennedy explained that she had neurological testing done after her arrest.

“Determined to understand my medical condition, I underwent a full battery of neurological testing at Mount Sinai Medical Center," she said outside of the court building, located in Armonk.

Based on an MRI taken, there is "an area of hyper density" due to a past head injury that she suffered.

“A comprehensive battery of neurological function tests showed symptoms consistent with the right side of the brain injury," she said."

This was just one sign that a seizure may have been the cause.

Kennedy added, “This, coupled with an abnormal EEG, the lack of memory, the quick recovery and a series of other factors led my doctors believe that this accident was caused not by a sleeping aide, but by a complex partial seizure.”

She added that she was told it was the only seizure she has had.

Kennedy was adamant that she did not take any illegal substances. While she confirmed that at the site, she told police she could theoretically have taken an pill mistakenly instead of a thyroid pill, tests for blood, urine and a breathalyzer came back negative for illicit substances or illegal alcohol levels.

Kennedy said that she has prescriptions for both medications, using the thyroid treatment daily and Ambien once a month to help her get to sleep.

“The tests found no drugs or alcohol in my system at all," she said at the press conference.

Moments earlier, Kennedy had been arraigned by Town Justice Elyse Lazansky, who set a return date of Aug. 14 before releasing the Bedford resident in her own custody. In the meantime, Lazansky said, Kennedy must be fingerprinted by the state police and evaluated by TASC, a nonprofit agency that screens for potential substance abuse.

“Do whatever they tell you to do,” Lazansky said of TASC (Treatment Accountability for Safer Communities). “They’re the experts.” Kennedy, wearing a sleeveless royal blue dress and black heels, stood silently and made no statements during her brief arraignment.

Despite a light schedule of cases Tuesday, more than half of the courtroom’s 59 seats were occupied. Media—online and print, radio and television—filled many of them. A growing cohort had been gathering at the tiny North Castle town hall since mid-afternoon in anticipation of Kennedy’s 6 p.m. appearance.

Immediately after, Robert Gottlieb, her lawyer, escorted Kennedy to a makeshift press corral in the parking lot behind town hall. Flanked by sister Rory and brother Christopher, Kennedy apologized to the unnamed truck driver, who was not injured. Kennedy said she remembers getting on Interstate 684 but not hitting the rig.

“I want to apologize to the driver of the truck who I apparently hit and to all of those who I endangered while driving my car last Friday morning.”

She added, “Northern Westchester is my home and I care deeply about my neighbors and about my community.”

Kennedy, a Bedford resident, said that on Friday morning she was driving to the gym when the accident happened.

“I remember getting on the highway and then I have no memory until I was stopped at the traffic light and a police officer was at my car door.”

Seeking to draw a line for the press and public, Kennedy laid out what she would be willing to discuss going forward.

“My legal case will continue to play out in the public domain and anyone interested will have complete access to the public record.”

Kennedy made her press statement after being arrainged Tuesday evening at North Castle town court in Armonk. Her next court date is Aug. 14.

Regarding further medical treatment, Kennedy asked for personal time.

“The course of my medical treatment will also continue over the months ahead, and perhaps indefinitely. I intend to pursue this medical treatment and I hope you will respect my privacy.”

Yorktown Tattler July 19, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Editor Plamena, could you please re-affirm Patch's reason for allowing pseudonyms? Mr. Apar seems not to get the message that this is an opportunity to be creative and truthful, free of retribution from those who could harm the people brave enough to come forward
Yorktown Tattler July 19, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Maybe its Bruce Apar who needs to join an anonymous group - Bellyachers Anonymous.
Bruce Apar July 19, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Great you recognize yourself. So did I when I saw you Monday.
Harry One July 19, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Shes no Bush A kill and walk Kennedy REMEMBER MARY JO
Harry One July 19, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Hello she read the whole statement written by her lawyer


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