NY trooper thought Kennedy had medical problem

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NY trooper thought Kennedy had medical problem
Kerry Kennedy, President of the Robert F.Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK), gives a press conference to present the documentary ''Children of the clouds. The last colony'' on February 18, 2014 in Paris. The documentary, focusing on the situation of human rights in Western Sahara, was produced by Spanish actor Javier Bardem and directed by Alvaro Longoria. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
Kerry Kennedy, President of the Robert F.Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK), gives a press conference to present the documentary ''Children of the clouds. The last colony'' on February 18, 2014 in Paris. The documentary, focusing on the situation of human rights in Western Sahara, was produced by Spanish actor Javier Bardem and directed by Alvaro Longoria. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE- In this July 17, 2012 file photo, Kerry Kennedy, ex-wife of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, center, is flanked by her brother Christopher Kennedy, left, and sister Rory Kennedy as she walks from the North Castle Justice Court in Armonk, N.Y. Jurors will hear Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, about Kerry's morning routine and daily medications as they consider whether she's guilty of drugged driving. The case against Kennedy, daughter of the late Sen. Robert Kennedy, goes to trial Monday morning in suburban White Plains. In 2012, Kennedy was arrested after her car hit a tractor-trailer on an interstate highway near her home in the New York City suburbs. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)
Kerry Kennedy, ex-wife of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, speaks after she appeared at the North Castle Justice Court in Armonk, N.Y. Tuesday, July 17, 2012. Kennedy was arrested Friday after state police said her Lexus struck a tractor-trailer on Interstate 684 north of New York. Police said she drove the damaged car off the highway before it became disabled. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Kerry Kennedy, ex-wife of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, steps into a car after making a statement following a court appearance at the North Castle Justice Court in Armonk, N.Y. Tuesday, July 17, 2012. Kennedy was arrested Friday after state police said her Lexus struck a tractor-trailer on Interstate 684 north of New York City. Police said she drove the damaged car off the highway before it became disabled. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
FILE - In this June 30, 2003 file photo, Carrie Kennedy-Cuomo and her then-husband, Andrew Cuomo are photographed together in New York. Police say that Kennedy, the former wife of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, has been arrested on Friday, July 13, 2012, for driving while impaired by drugs after colliding with a tractor-trailer in North Castle, N.Y. (AP Photo/Patrick Andrade, File)
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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) -- A New York state trooper testified Tuesday at Kerry Kennedy's drugged-driving trial that he was concerned she might have suffered a seizure or stroke after her car swerved into a truck in 2012.

Trooper Bradley Molloy said Kennedy passed several drug tests that he administered at the police station. The tests included having Kennedy follow the tip of a pen with her eyes, stand on one leg and touch the tip of her finger to her nose, Molloy said.

Kennedy told the trooper that she had consumed some carrots and a cappuccino that morning and had slept about eight hours the night before. Molloy said Kennedy also told him she was concerned that she might have accidentally taken a sleeping pill instead of her thyroid medication. She said she had Ambien and the thyroid pills next to each other in her medicine cabinet.

"The defendant was not impaired by any drug," Molloy said. "I feel she may have suffered a medical condition while driving."

Molloy said Kennedy was polite and cooperative.

A forensic toxicologist testified later Tuesday that most people experience the effects of Ambien within 15 to 45 minutes of taking it. But Elizabeth Spratt, a prosecution witness who works for the Westchester County Department of Laboratories and Research, said it can take up to two hours for the drug to take effect.

Spratt said the effects include sleepiness, poor motor coordination and headaches. The drug can also cause amnesia, meaning that many people don't remember much after they've taken Ambien, she said.

On Monday, a North Castle town police officer, Joel Thomas, said he had administered four field sobriety tests, involving eye movements, walking and turning, reciting part of the alphabet and standing on one leg. Kennedy only passed one, reciting the alphabet from J to T, he said.

Kennedy is the ex-wife of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, daughter of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and niece of President John F. Kennedy. Her mother, Ethel Kennedy, and a sister, Rory Kennedy, were both in the courtroom.

On Monday, motorists testified that Kennedy swerved her Lexus into a truck, damaging the car and blowing a tire, but kept driving and later was slumped at her steering wheel and disoriented.

In his opening statement, defense lawyer Gerald Lefcourt said Kennedy was not disputing that she drove erratically. But he said it happened because Kennedy accidentally took an Ambien sleeping pill that morning instead of her thyroid medication.

Prosecutor Stefanie DeNise said even if Kennedy took the sleeping pill accidentally, she violated the law by failing to stop when she felt its effects.

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