In her Kerry Kennedy of Bedford said an old head injury may have caused a seizure and a temporary blackout the on driving while impaired charges.
she may have mixed medications, taking an Ambien sleeping pill instead of her thyroid medication. Three days later she said a range of medical tests—including an MRI showing an area of hyper-density in her brain and an abnormal EEG—led her doctors to conclude the accident was caused not by a sleeping pill, but a "complex partial seizure."
Westcheser neurologist Nilay Shah said that a past brain injury can cause an unprovoked seizure years later. He also told News12 that having a seizure can lead to suspended driving privileges in New York State until doctors see her medical condition improve.
Kennedy's story drew a mixed reacion from locals shopping and dining in the region on Thursday, with some saying the "Kennedy spin" makes new details hard to believe while others say her residual grief could be a factor in the accident.
"It's amazing to watch the Kennedys spring into action," said Christina Lunny, a Pound Ridge resident. "First the Ambien, then a seizure—which was either caused by an old car accident or bungee jumping at Brown University? The more she speaks, the less I believe."
Another resident said she found her story implausible.
"The cracks in the Kennedy armor are starting to show," said Norma Zagreda of Mt. Kisco. "I thought it was humiliating that she spoke directly to viewers at the press conference. I don't believe that she has a prior medical condition."
But Lily Allen of Chappaqua said that was what made her think Kennedy was telling the truth.
"She got up and spoke for herself," said Allen.
Judy Karten of Ossining also said by taking the microphone instead of letting lawyers do the talking, Kennedy made Karten "take her at her word."
"Whether you are a Kennedy, or an Obama or anyone, you have to speak for yourself, whatever happens. Her story is medically possible. And she did the right thing, she wasn't running away. She pulled off the highway," she said.
Chantal Christino of Mt. Kisco, who was shopping with her young daughter, said Kennedy should be given the benefit of the doubt.
"She's busy—she's a mom like me, she had kids and a job, and maybe that sleeping pill didn't wear off in time," she said "She's human and has a lot on her plate. It could happen to anyone."
Kennedy's next court date is Aug. 14.