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Massachusetts lieutenant governor hit 108 mph before car crash

By Reuters
Tuesday, January 3, 2012 21:53 EDT
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Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray was slapped with a $555 fine on Tuesday after he apparently fell asleep and drove 108 miles per hour before careening off the road and crashing last November.

A state police report detailing the 20 seconds prior to his car striking a rock ledge and the five seconds just after show Murray was traveling at speeds ranging from 75 mph to 99 mph before driving off the road.

The crash data shows the vehicle hit 108 mph just before impact, according to the report.

Murray, who was not wearing a seat belt, was not injured in the crash.

Although earlier reports indicated the vehicle went out of control after hitting black ice, Murray said he accepts the full state police report as accurate.

“I understand that the vehicle accelerated rapidly without braking or turning in the seconds before the accident,” he said in a statement.

“The State Police have said that this is consistent with what happens when someone falls asleep at the wheel and I believe that is what caused my accident,” he said.

Murray was issued a $555 citation for speeding, marked lanes violation and seat belt violation.

Other political officials not wearing seat belts in crashes have not been as lucky as Murray.

In 2011, Colorado lawmaker Suzanne Williams, who advocates stricter seat belt laws, did not have her three-year-old grandson restrained during a fatal crash in Texas.

Williams, who was driving, was the only passenger in her car wearing a seat belt and the crash killed a passenger in another car.

In 2007, former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine broke his left leg, several ribs, his sternum and collarbone after a car crash.

In that instance, Corzine was not wearing a seat belt and the sport utility vehicle he was traveling in was speeding when it collided with another car.

Drifting asleep at the wheel was considered as a possible cause of a summer 2011 car crash that killed the majority leader of North Dakota’s Republican-controlled state Senate while on a fishing trip in Alaska.

(Reporting by Lauren Keiper; Editing by Greg McCune)

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Reuters
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