DA Morrissey says extreme heat caused him to pass out and crash

Police say a top Massachusetts prosecutor drifted across the center line while driving home, triggering a four-car crash in Milton that hospitalized four.

Milton Deputy Police Chief John King said Wednesday that Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey crossed the line “for some unknown reason.” But he said there’s no indication that alcohol or cellphone use were factors in the crash, which occurred at about 6 p.m. Tuesday.

King said police cited two drivers for motor vehicle infractions, but he wouldn’t name them.

The 58-year-old Morrissey is now recuperating.

Three other people hurt in the crash were treated and released Tuesday from an area hospital.

Morrissey released the following statement Thursday:

“On Tuesday, July 16, 2013, I left my office in Canton and was traveling to my home in Quincy. While traveling on Centre Street in Milton, I was involved in a multi-car accident. Prior to the accident, I had made a series of phone calls on my hands free wireless telephone. 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.

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.

I was transported to Milton Hospital and received treatment until yesterday at 5:30 p.m. when I was discharged. My medical records reveal that there was no alcohol in my system. Also, witnesses indicated that speed was not a factor. Instead, my medical records will show that I suffered a medical episode that caused me to lose consciousness and cross over the center line into the opposite lane of travel. The visible injuries I suffered were to my hand and torso. Fatigue, dehydration and extreme temperatures contributed to my loss of consciousness. On my doctor’s advice, I plan to take some time off to recuperate.

Immediately after the accident, the Milton Police Department issued me a citation. A hearing will be held shortly to determine any criminal liability. 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.

I am grateful that the other parties involved in the accident appear to be okay as they were treated and released from the hospital. I wish them a speedy recovery.

I am also grateful for the work of the Milton Police, emergency medical personnel and concerned citizens who assisted at the scene.

This is an unfortunate accident. I intend to be as transparent as possible in this process.”