A week and a half following a two-car accident that seriously injured L. Brooks Patterson, the 73-year-old Oakland County executive continues to recover from his injuries in McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, according to county officials.
Patterson, first elected as county executive in 1992 after serving 16 years as the county prosecutor, suffered broken wrists and a broken femur in the Friday, Aug. 10 accident at the corner of Walton Boulevard and Opdyke Road in Auburn Hills.
The injuries will likely require Patterson to use a wheelchair as he recovers after his release from the hospital, according to county Commissioner Jim Nash (D-Farmington Hills), a former U.S. Army medic.
Patterson was the front passenger in a black Chrysler 300 driven by Jim Cram, 60, who was also seriously injured in the accident that took place around 4 p.m. that day.
The Chrysler was traveling eastbound on Walton and when it entered the road’s intersection with Opdyke on a green traffic signal, it struck a blue Volkswagen Passat driven by a 31-year-old Royal Oak man and occupied by a 51-year-old man.
Neither drivers nor Patterson were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident, according to a preliminary Auburn Hills Police Department investigation. Police also said they did not suspect alcohol or drugs to be a factor in the accident that left Patterson with orthopedic injuries requiring three surgeries. He also sustained a laceration to the forehead.
Police said it appears that the Volkswagen failed to yield the right-of-way, causing the crash.
“Brooks and Jim are receiving excellent care and their families are grateful for the prayers and concern the public has shown,” said Deputy County Executive Gerald Poisson in a statement.
It remains unclear when either man will be discharged from the hospital; Cram is being treated at Detroit Receiving.
“(Patterson) is still recovering under the care of McLaren Oakland Hospital,” said Bill Mullan, the county’s media and communications officer, on Monday, Aug. 20.
Mullan said Cram, a former Michigan State Police sergeant who retired from the Flint Post, has worked as a field claims investigator in risk management for eight years. Sometimes Cram is responsible for providing security for Patterson, but those duties aren’t his primary task, according to Mullan.
Several different factors go into whether Cram or another county employee accompanies Patterson as a security detail to public events, Mullan said.
In the meantime, county officials continue to delve into Patterson’s recommended three-year budget plan for the next three spending cycles. The job of presenting those plans has fallen upon Poisson.
The Auburn Hills Police Department forwarded the case to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office for review on Aug. 20 due to the extent of the injuries sustained in the crash.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Paul Walton said at this point, there is no timeline for determining whether any citations or charges will be issued as a result of the accident that took place around 4 p.m. on Aug. 10.
Anyone who witnessed the accident is asked to contact the Auburn Hills Police Department at 248-370-9444.
Patterson, through Mullan, requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to The Brooksie Way, the quality of life event started by Patterson following the death of his son in a 2007 snowmobile accident.