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Attorney: Patterson, Driver Weren’t Drinking Before Bone-Breaking Crash

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(WWJ Photo/Pat Sweeting, File)

(WWJ Photo/Pat Sweeting, File)

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WATERFORD (WWJ) - The attorney for L. Brooks Patterson says the Oakland County Executive and his driver were not drinking prior to a crash that severely injured the two, despite what the defense team of the man charged in the crash have insinuated.

WWJ’s Pat Sweeting reports attorney Stephen Potter, in an agreement with Patterson and his security officer and driver James Cram, has made a limited release of their medical records.

During a news conference at the county’s executive office on Tuesday, Potter squashed “innuendo” by the defense team for 31-year-old Anthony Prainito of Royal Oak that alcohol or illegal drugs were somehow involved in the crash.

“It is my opinion that the criminal defense attorneys representing Mr. Prainito have attempted to create through innuendo, and innuendo only, a belief that alcohol was somehow involved in the actions of Mr. Cram and of Mr. Patterson at the time of the accident. The criminal defense attorneys for Mr. Prainito, again in my opinion, have attempted to shift the focus from the criminal case against Mr. Prainito onto the alleged actions of Mr. Cram and Mr. Patterson, who are the victims,” said Potter.

Potter pointed to the results of blood alcohol tests, which show that no traces of alcohol or illegal drugs were found in either Cram or Patterson. The samples were taken upon arrival at McLaren Oakland Hospital following the Aug. 10 accident.

Patterson, 73, was the front seat passenger in a car that was traveling eastbound on Walton Boulevard when it collided with Prainito’s car, which was turning left at the intersection of Opdyke Road. Patterson’s vehicle had a green light and the right-of-way, according to police. Neither Prainito, Patterson or Cram, a 60-year-old retired Michigan State Police officer, were wearing a seat belt.

Patterson paid a $65 ticket for failing to wear his seat belt in the crash.

Patterson — who suffered a broken wrist, knee and hip, five broken ribs and other cuts and bruises in the crash — is currently in a physical rehabilitation program. Cram suffered serious injuries in the crash and is still recovering at the hospital.

Prainito is facing three misdemeanor counts of moving violation causing serious impairment of a bodily function, punishable by up to 93 days in jail. He maintains his innocence.

Patterson said he hopes to return to office by the end of the month. Read more, here.

WWJ Newsradio 950 is owned by CBS.

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