Truck Driver in Kerry Kennedy Crash Pleads Not Guilty

The driver of a tractor-trailer who was involved in an accident with a car driven by Kerry Kennedy two months ago pleaded not guilty on Friday to leaving the scene of an accident and vowed to fight the charge.“When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose,” the driver, Rocco Scuiletti said, invoking the Bob Dylan song “Like a Rolling Stone” in an interview after a brief traffic court hearing here.Mr. Scuiletti, 47, of Poughkeepsie, was unwittingly thrust into a national spotlight on July 13, when just after 8 a.m., Ms. Kennedy swerved her Lexus into his truck on Interstate 684 in Westchester County. Ms. Kennedy, the former wife of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and a daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, then exited the highway with a flat tire and rolled to a stop on Route 22. Witnesses reported that she was driving erratically and said that she had been slumped over the wheel, the police said.

Blood tests administered nearly five hours after the accident showed that Ms. Kennedy had a low level of zolpidem, the generic name for Ambien, in her system. She has said that she may have inadvertently taken the potent sleep aid instead of her thyroid medication on the morning of the accident. She was arrested and charged with a single misdemeanor charge of driving with ability impaired by drug.After a July 17 court hearing in which she pleaded not guilty, Ms. Kennedy, 52, apologized to Mr. Scuiletti.“I want to apologize to the driver of the truck who I apparently hit and to all those I endangered while driving my car,” she said.

Mr. Scuiletti said Friday that he had no idea that the driver who had sideswiped his truck was a member of the Kennedy family. He said he was surprised when he saw news reports the next day.He was even more surprised to be charged with leaving an accident scene.“As soon as I had a safe opportunity to pull over, I did; I inspected my tractor,” Mr. Scuiletti said Friday. “There was no damage — not even paint exchange — and the person who bounced off of me was long gone. I just continued on my way. I didn’t know what to report.”Mr. Scuiletti said the trucking company he was driving for fired him after the accident. He declined to give the name of the company, which is based in Massachusetts.

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