The driver who allegedly caused a crash that resulted in serious injuries to Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson could face up to three months in jail.
The Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office last week announced three misdemeanor charges of committing a moving violation resulting in serious impairment of a bodily function against 31-year-old Royal Oak resident Anthony Prainito, the driver of a Volkswagen Passat that collided with the Chrysler 300 Patterson, 73, was riding in during the Aug. 10 crash at the intersection of Walton Boulevard and Opdyke Road in Auburn Hills.
Patterson, who Auburn Hills police said was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, suffered a broken femur, broken hip, two broken wrists and a laceration to his forehead. Patterson’s driver, 60-year-old Jim Cram, also suffered serious injuries.
“The driver of the other vehicle has been charged with negligent driving causing serious injury to Brooks, Jim, and the passenger of the other car,” said Deputy County Executive Gerald Poisson in a statement. “The Executive Office thanks Auburn Hills police for their professionalism in conducting a thorough investigation. This matter is now in the hands of the courts.”
Prainito and his passenger, identified last week as 51-year-old Raymond Recchia — who was the only person wearing a seatbelt in the accident — were also injured in the crash.
The Prosecutor’s Office stated that under the circumstances of the case, it cannot issue a civil infraction citation to any of the three who were unrestrained in the crash because under state law, most civil infractions are initiated by the law enforcement officials writing the citation.
Patterson, first elected as Oakland County executive in 1992 after serving 16 years as the county prosecutor, remains in McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac recovering from the injuries that required three surgeries to repair, according to Bill Mullan, the county’s media and communications officer.
Police said it appears that the Volkswagen failed to yield the right-of-way, causing the crash. Police also said they did not suspect alcohol or drugs to be a factor in the accident.
Patterson’s vehicle, driven by Cram, was traveling eastbound on Walton when it entered the road’s intersection with Opdyke on a green green traffic signal. It struck the Passat driven by Prainito.