Oakland County Chief, Driver Recover After Bone-Breaking Crash
PONTIAC (WWJ) - Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and a retired Michigan State Police Officer remain hospitalized Saturday morning following a bone-breaking accident Friday in Auburn Hills.
Speaking live on WWJ Newsradio 950, County Chief Deputy Executive Gerald Poisson said 74-year-old Patterson has been upgraded from serious to stable condition following multiple surgeries overnight.
“Brooks remains hospitalized, he’s in stable condition, he came through the surgery well,” said Possion. “He had a gash on his head and he had some orthopedic injuries that they were performing surgery on last night involving his knee and his wrist.”
Dr. Tressa Gardner, director of emergency services at McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac where Patterson is recovering, said the County Executive is ”doing great.”
Patterson was sitting in the front passenger seat at the time of the accident. Police say the car he was riding in was traveling eastbound on Walton Blvd. when it entered the intersection of Opdyke Road and collided with a Volkswagen Passat that was turning left. Patterson’s vehicle had a green light and the right-of-way, according to police.
Patterson’s driver, a 60-year-old man whose name has not been released, is currently in critical condition at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
“He’s a long-time area law enforcement official. Since his retirement from the state police, he’s been one of our field claims investigators and they provide driving and security services for Brooks from time to time as needed. He is in very serious condition… he had some surgery last night and remains in recovery today,” said Poisson.
Two occupants in the other vehicle were transported to a local hospital with unknown injuries. All four parties are expected to recover.
The crash remains under investigation.
Meantime, adjustments are being made in Oakland County to make sure business does not fall by the wayside in Patterson’s absence as he recovers.
“Going forward, he has a team in place, a management team in place. We’ve been together for the better part of two decades and so it will be business as usual on the day-to-day operations of the county and of course, we’ll cover the needs of Brooks’ appearances as best we can,” said Poisson.
“Under the law, whenever Brooks is unavailable or out-of-town, he has the Cheif Deputy and then the other deputy, along with me, are empowered to act in his place. We’ve done it before,” he continued.
Patterson’s office issued a statement, saying the county chief and his family are “aware of the outpouring of support and expressed their gratitude to all the well-wishers.”