Kerry Kennedy had a form of Ambien in her system on the day of her car accident with a truck in North Castle, according to drug test results.
The findings, from a test taken after the July 13 incident on the North Castle stretch of Interstate 684, show that Zolpidem, a generic term for the drug, came up through a blood test in a concentration of 14 nanograms per milliliter. The results of a urine sample, taken the same day, state that the drug was "not detected" at 10 ng/ml. Kennedy tested negative for alcohol.
The report, from Westchester County's Department of Labs and Research, was filed Wednesday with North Castle Justice Court.
The findings run contrary to what Kennedy believes to be the cause of her accident. At a July 17 North Castle court appearance in Armonk, Kennedy cited neurological findings from doctors, and stated that a seizure was to blame. She also stated that she had "an area of hyper density" in her brain due to a past head injury, according to an MRI test.
Kennedy, at the Armonk press conference, that she has an Ambien prescription, and that she told police after the accident it was possible she may have mistakenly taken it instead of a thyroid medication that she also has.
Reacting to the news Wednesday, Kennedy revisted what she told police.
"The results we received today from the Westchester County lab showed trace amounts of a sleep aid in my system, so it now appears that my first instinct was correct," she said in a statement to the press.
Kennedy, a Bedford resident, stated that she was on her way to the gym that morning and lost her memory of what transpired. She has apologized to the truck driver, Dutchess County resident Rocco Scuiletti, with leaving the accident's scene.
Ken Sunshine, Kennedy's spokesman, released a statement hours after the accident that denied she had drugs in her system, citing initial tests done. Kennedy noted, in her Wednesday statement, that initial findings from a police breathalyzer, along with blood and urine tests at , showed that she tested negative.
Kennedy addressed why she sought outside medical testing.
She added: "The State Police drug recognition expert, who was at the accident scene, said that in his opinion, I was “not under the influence of a narcotic and might have suffered a medical condition while driving.” Therefore, I thought it prudent to pursue other possible explanations for the accident. After extensive neurological tests, my doctors at Mount Sinai concluded that a partial seizure could have caused the accident."
Meanwhile, Kennedy has a new attorney, John D. Pappalardo. In a letter filed with North Castle court, Pappalardo requested that Kennedy's next court date be adjourned from Aug. 14 to Aug. 21. He could not immediately be reached for comment.
The beleaguered Kennedy family has had several challenges this year, both emotional and legal.
Kerry Kennedy's sister-in-law Mary Richardson Kennedy was found dead in May at her Bedford home. According to media reports, her son, Conor, is slated for be the administrator of her estate.
Meanwhile, Douglas Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy's brother and Chappaqua resident, of child endangerment in connection with his carrying newborn son Bo through in January. His case is pending in Mount Kisco Justice Court.