Toxicology reports released last week by the attorney representing Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and his driver involved in an August car crash show that no alcohol or illegal drugs were in either man’s system.
In a Tuesday, Oct. 2 news conference, attorney Steven M. Potter said legal counsel for Anthony Prainito, the driver allegedly responsible for the Aug. 10 car accident that severely injured both Patterson and his driver, Jim Cram, was “through innuendo and innuendo only” attempting to insinuate that alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash.
“I have been informed by Dr. Tressa Gardner, the director of emergency medicine at McLaren Oakland Hospital, that there was no alcohol found in Mr. Cram and Mr. Patterson’s blood,” said Potter, who is representing both men in the civil matters stemming from the Auburn Hills accident that left Patterson with broken bones. “The fact that the report indicates there is less than 0.0030 grams is because any amount below 0.0030 grams would be undetectable.
“It is my opinion that the criminal attorneys representing Mr. Prainito have attempted to create through innuendo and through innuendo only, a belief that alcohol was somehow involved in the actions of Mr. Cram and/or Mr. Patterson at the time of the accident. The criminal attorneys for Mr. Prainito, again in my opinion, have attempted to shift the focus of the criminal case against Mr. Prainito onto the alleged actions of Mr. Cram and Mr. Patterson, who are the victims of the accident.”
Patterson, who was released from McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac last month and entered a third stage of physical rehabilitation last week at an area facility, was a passenger in a Chrysler 300 on Aug. 10 when he suffered a broken hip, leg, ankle, and five ribs, and broke both wrists.
Deputy County Executive Phil Bertolini said in last week’s news conference that Patterson is expected to return to the office within the next two to four weeks.
“I can tell you, it is hard to keep him down,” Bertolini said. “Brooks has a fire in his belly to get back here to have his hands directly in the daily operations of the county.”
Cram and Patterson, 72, were traveling eastbound on Walton when their Chrysler 300 entered the road’s intersection with Opdyke on a green traffic signal. Cram and Patterson’s vehicle struck the Passat driven by Prainito when he turned in front of it.
Also injured in the accident were Cram, 60, the driver of the Chrysler 300; Prainito, 31; and Raymond Recchia, 51, the passenger in the Passat and the only person wearing a seatbelt in the accident that occurred at the intersection of Walton Boulevard and Opdyke Road.
Patterson was cited by the Auburn Hills Police Department last month for the seatbelt infraction and paid a $65 fine. He said he regrets not wearing a seatbelt.
Prainito is facing three misdemeanor charges of committing a moving violation resulting in serious impairment of a bodily function for allegedly causing the accident.
Police say it appears that the Volkswagen failed to yield the right-of-way, causing the crash.