The California Highway Patrol said Friday its investigation is still ongoing regarding a two-vehicle accident involving state Sen. Carole Migden a week ago.
CHP Sergeant Les Bishop said it has not been determined if Migden, D-San Francisco, was at fault or was driving recklessly. Bishop said he has no idea how long the investigation will take and he apologized for media reports earlier this week that the CHP was considering recommending reckless driving charges be filed against Migden.
CHP Sergeant Wulf Corrington said Wednesday the CHP planned to recommend the Solano County District Attorney’s Office charge Migden with an infraction for driving too fast for road conditions when her 2007 Toyota Highlander rear-ended a 2005 Honda at Beck Avenue and state Highway 12. That accident sent Ellen Butawan, 31, of Vallejo to the NorthBay Medical Center with a minor injury, the CHP said.
Bishop reported he could not confirm reports that Butawan is married to a CHP officer.
“It’s all part of the investigation and I can’t comment,” Bishop stated.
Corrington also said Migden could face misdemeanor reckless driving charges because of statements witnesses made about her driving between the Carquinez Bridge and Fairfield. Migden said she was driving to an appointment in Marin County.
The CHP said more than a half-dozen other motorists made emergency calls to report Migden’s erratic driving before she hit a Honda sedan at a freeway exit in Fairfield. The other driver, Ellen Butawan of Vallejo, said she went to the emergency room with a head injury.
Migden’s Highlander also struck a guardrail in the center median on Interstate Highway 80 near American Canyon Road, Corrington said. The CHP determined she made an unsafe turning movement but does not intend to recommend any charges be filed in that incident, Corrington said.
Migden, 56, whose district also covers parts of Marin and Sonoma counties, said this week she has been taking medication to treat leukemia and that might have caused her to become disoriented while driving. She said she couldn’t explain her driving the day of the accidents, but her office said she took her eyes off the road to answer her cell phone.
A fundraiser benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will be held Sunday, June 3, 2007, from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., in the Fort Mason Officers Club, 1 Fort Mason, San Francisco.
James Lanaras of Bay City News and Pat Murphy contributed to this report