Patterson's Seatbelt Was Buckled Behind the Passenger Seat
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is still hospitalized following the Aug. 10 accident in Auburn Hills.
The seatbelt in the front passenger seat of the car that L. Brooks Patterson was riding in when he was injured in a crash earlier this month was buckled.
It just wasn't buckled around Patterson.
According to a detailed report of the Aug. 10 accident provided by the Auburn Hills Police, which responded to the scene, the belt was buckled behind the passenger seat of the Chrysler 300 that Patterson, the Oakland County Executive, was traveling in. He was in the passenger seat when it crashed.
"I observed the passenger's side seatbelt to be wrapped behind the front passenger's seat back and clicked into the buckle, indicating the passenger was not wearing the seatbelt at the time of the crash," the report stated.
Patterson's driver, James Cram, was not wearing a seatbelt, either. That belt was found unbuckled at the side near the car door. Cram told police who arrived on the scene that neither he nor Patterson were wearing their seatbelts.
Neither Patterson nor Cram have been cited for not wearing a seatbelt; both are still hospitalized for treatment of injuries suffered in the crash.
An Auburn Hills Police deputy indicated to The Oakland Press that there would not be a citation as long as they remain hospitalized.
Other driver pleads not guilty
Anthony Prainito, the driver of the Volkswagen Passat that Patterson's Chrysler 300 crashed into at the intersection of Walton and Opdyke, was charged with a misdemeanor in the crash.
According to the police investigation, Prainito, 31, of Royal Oak, failed to yield on a flashing yellow light at the intersection, causing the crash. There are about 90 traffic signals with flashing yellow turn arrows across Oakland County. Some motorists admit to confusion about how the signals work.
Prainito pleaded not guilty to the charge.
According to data from the crash data recorder of the Chrysler 300, Cram was driving 54 mph in the seconds before the crash occured. The speed limit in that area of Walton is 45 mph.
An assistant Oakland County prosecutor said during Prainito's arraignment that speed was not a factor in the crash.
Patterson, 73, has been the county executive for 18 years. After receiving an influx of flowers at the hospital during the weekend after his crash, Patterson's staff asked that get-well-soon gifts be sent as a donation to The Brooksie Way, the half-marathon race in Rochester that Patterson founded five years ago.
The donations will help fund Brooksie Way Minigrants, which are awarded to Oakland County organizations that promote health and wellness. Sue Barnes, the training coordinator for the Brooksie Way, said this week that donations have been coming in. They are still being accepted at: The Brooksie Way; P.O. Box 81576; Rochester, MI 48308