Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey says he suffered a “medical episode” and lost consciousness before crossing the yellow center line of a Milton street in his car, triggering a four-car crash.
“Fatigue, dehydration and extreme temperatures contributed to my loss of consciousness,” Morrissey said in a statement issued this afternoon. “On my doctor’s advice, I plan to take some time off to recuperate.”
He said his medical records indicate there was no alcohol in his system and witnesses said speed was not a factor.
Morrissey, 58, was heading home at 6 p.m. Tuesday on Centre Street when his car drifted across the yellow line. Milton police said his car collided with two vehicles in the westbound lane, and a fourth vehicle swerved and went off the roadway to avoid the collision, police said.
Four people were taken to the hospital, including Morrissey, police said. Three were released Tuesday. Morrissey said he suffered visible injuries to his hand and torso and was treated at Milton Hospital before being discharged at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Morrissey said in his statement that he was driving home from his office in Canton and before the accident he had made a series of phone calls on his hands-free cellphone.
“The last call I made was to order a pizza. Shortly after that last telephone call, I was perspiring and felt lightheaded and the next thing I recall is being outside of my car which was stopped across two lanes of traffic,” he said.
“At the time of the accident, I did not know what happened. Individuals at the scene told me my car crossed over the center line causing the accident. I have no reason to dispute that,” he said.
He said his medical records “will show that I suffered a medical episode that caused me to lose consciousness.”
Morrissey said he had been issued a citation by the Milton police and a hearing would be held to determine whether he was criminally liable in the crash. Milton Deputy Police Chief John King said Wednesday that two people had been cited for motor vehicle infractions, but he did not release any information on them. He also said the police report on the incident was not available.
“It is my hope that this is a speedy process and my intention is to make my medical records available at that time to appropriate personnel,” Morrissey said.
Morrissey said he was “grateful that the other parties involved in the accident appear to be OK as they were treated and released from the hospital. I wish them a speedy recovery.”
He also said he was grateful for the work of emergency responders and citizens who assisted at the scene.
“This is an unfortunate accident. I intend to be as transparent as possible in this process,” he said.