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Entries in Kerry Kennedy (5)

Wednesday
Jul252012

Kennedy Toxicology Positive for Sleep Aid

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Kerry Kennedy was under the influence of a sleeping aid when she was involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer on a New York highway and left the scene.

A toxicology report shows that Kennedy, the ex-wife of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, had a generic version of the powerful sleep aid Ambien in her system when she crashed and was later found slumped over the steering wheel.

Her doctors claimed she had a seizure, but Kennedy, 52, told police she may have mixed up her medications, taking a sleep aid instead of her thyroid pill.  

A Kennedy family statement said that Kerry Kennedy "voluntarily took breathalyzer, blood and urine tests -- all of which showed now drugs or alcohol whatsoever in her system."

Kennedy pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of drugs at her July 17 arraignment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul172012

Kerry Kennedy Pleads Not Guilty, Says Seizure Caused Erratic Driving

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Kerry Kennedy pleaded not guilty Tuesday to driving under the influence of drugs, and said that a seizure caused the erratic driving that led to a collision with a tractor-trailer last week.

Kennedy, a human rights activist and the daughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was seen driving erratically in Westchester, N.Y., Friday before she collided with the truck. She allegedly continued driving and was later found slumped over the wheel of her car, reportedly unable to remember what had happened.

In the wake of the accident, Kennedy, 52, said to police she might have taken the prescription drug Ambien, sources said. Kennedy was arrested and charged with driving while impaired.

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Rocco Scuitello, the driver of the truck that Kennedy hit, told the New York Post Tuesday, "My first impression was that she was really, really drunk, half asleep or very, very intoxicated. She's very lucky she didn't kill somebody."

"When she hit me, my left tire tore up her passenger-side door, and the lug nuts on my truck tore up her tire, just shredded through it and peeled the tire right off," Scuitello said.

"She woke up a little bit, not a lot, not the way you'd wake up if you'd just hit a 6,000-pound truck. The only thing she wanted to do then was get away, because she floored it and took off."

Kerry Kennedy's family said in a statement released to ABC News that there were no drugs involved.

The results of Kennedy's toxicology tests are pending.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul172012

Kerry Kennedy to Plead Not Guilty to Driving Under the Influence

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Kerry Kennedy will plead not guilty on Tuesday to driving under the influence of drugs after a collision with a tractor-trailer last week, ABC News has learned.

Authorities say Kennedy, a human rights activist and the daughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was seen driving erratically in Westchester, N.Y., on Friday when she collided with the truck.  She allegedly continued driving and was later found slumped over the wheel of her car, reportedly unable to remember what had happened.

In the wake of the accident, Kennedy, 52, said to police she might have taken the prescription drug Ambien, sources said.  Kennedy was arrested and charged with driving while impaired.

"We know in my family that this is out of character for Kerry, and we're worried about this as anybody would be when a loved one is in a car accident," her cousin and former Rhode Island congressman Patrick Kennedy said.

He said the family is unsure what happened with his cousin last week.

Rocco Scuitello, the driver of the truck that Kerry Kennedy hit, told the New York Post on Tuesday, "My first impression was that she was really, really drunk, half asleep or very, very intoxicated.  She's very lucky she didn't kill somebody."

"When she hit me, my left tire tore up her passenger-side door, and the lug nuts on my truck tore up her tire, just shredded through it and peeled the tire right off," Scuitello said.  "She woke up a little bit, not a lot, not the way you'd wake up if you'd just hit a 6,000-pound truck.  The only thing she wanted to do then was get away, because she floored it and took off."

Patrick Kennedy said he was with his cousin at a wedding last week and that the accusations are completely out of character.

Kerry Kennedy's family said in a statement released to ABC News that there were no drugs involved.

"Kerry Kennedy voluntarily took breathalyzer, blood and urine tests -- all of which showed no drugs or alcohol whatsoever in her system.  The charges were filed before the test results were available," the Kennedy family said in a statement released Friday.

The results of Kennedy's toxicology tests are pending.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul152012

Kerry Kennedy Crash Raises Questions About Ambien Use

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Kerry Kennedy, the ex-wife of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer on a New York highway and left the scene last week is raising new questions about the sleeping pill Ambien.

Kennedy was arrested and charged with driving while impaired Friday. She is due in court Tuesday.

ABC News has learned that Kennedy told police she had been taking Ambien sometime Friday morning. But in a statement released by her family to ABC News, they said there were no drugs involved.

"Kerry Kennedy voluntarily took breathalyzer, blood and urine tests – all of which showed no drugs or alcohol whatsoever in her system. The charges were filed before the test results were available," the Kennedy family said in a statement released to ABC News on Friday.

The results of Kennedy's toxicology tests are still pending. But legal analysts say whatever they show could play a big role in her defense.

"Ambien has a short half life so by the time she went to the hospital and by the time her blood was analyzed, the drug actually could have disappeared from her system," said criminal defense attorney Dana Cole.

There have been previous complaints about Ambien lulling people into a trance-like state.

Last year, 60 million Americans were prescribed a sleeping aid.

But for a drug that's supposed to help you sleep, it's amazing how active you can be and not know it.

There are numerous claims of sleep driving.

A woman learned she was "sleep cooking" and even fried an egg while another woman woke up and found out she wasn't even home.

Kerry Kennedy's cousin, former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy crashed into a barrier near Capitol Hill, saying he had been disoriented after taking Ambien.

The details of Friday's accident don't fit Kennedy's public image -- a mother of three who has no known history of substance abuse.

"I seriously doubt that she'll be looking at any jail. She's looking at a fine and probably some sort of drug or alcohol program that she'll need to attend," Cole said.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jul142012

Kerry Kennedy Charged With Driving While Impaired After Crash

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Kerry Kennedy, the ex-wife of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, was arrested and charged with driving while impaired after she collided with a tractor trailer and left the scene of the accident, police said.

Police later found Kennedy, who is the daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, parked off an interstate north of New York City and passed out behind the wheel of her Lexus on Friday.

ABC News has learned that Kennedy told police she had been taking Ambien sometime that morning. But in a statement released by her family to ABC News, they said there were no drugs involved.

“Kerry Kennedy voluntarily took breathalyzer, blood and urine tests – all of which showed no drugs or alcohol whatsoever in her system.  The charges were filed before the test results were available,” the Kennedy family said in a statement released to ABC News.

Kennedy has no known history of substance abuse, however many of her siblings have battled alcohol and drug issues. In May 2006, her cousin, former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy crashed into a barrier near Capitol Hill, saying he had been disoriented after taking Ambien.

It has been a difficult few months for Kerry Kennedy. In May, her sister-in-law and best friend, Mary Richardson Kennedy, hanged herself in her Bedford, N.Y. home.

“She was an angel who was brought to us to live with us here on earth and I think that God just brought her back up to heaven and said ‘you don’t have to fight for us anymore,’” Kerry Kennedy said of her friend.

Kennedy lives in Bedford, N.Y. and is the president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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