I want to thank all of you who have expressed your concern and support for me, my wife Tammy and our family, since my serious car accident in November. I am forever grateful that I was uninjured and that no one else was involved or hurt. I have accepted responsibility for the accident and I will pay the fines and reimburse the Commonwealth for the value of the car.
TRANSCRIPT: Tim Murray Press Conference
Massachusetts State House, Tuesday, January 03, 2012 - 2:30pm
Q 1: At 108 mph that is really almost reckless driving or driving to endanger. Don't you think you should be cited for that criminally?
A: The speed is frightening to me. As I said, this happened within seconds and I believe, as I said, I fell asleep. As I said from the outset, I will let the State Police do their job and make their findings.
Q 2: With all due respect, it seems like your original version of what happened is now falling apart.
A: Well Mike, this accident happened within seconds and I have never been in an accident like that. I stood before many of you that morning a few hours after what I think is pretty traumatic accident and answered the questions as best as I could and I accept the State Police findings and will take responsibility for those
Q 3: You said you weren't speeding and also that you were wearing a seat belt.
A: As I said, I wasn't totally sure of my speed. I did say I was wearing my seatbelt. My recollection is I was wearing my seatbelt, after I walked away from my accident I certainly thought I was wearing my seatbelt, but again, I am going to accept responsibility.
Q 4: Can the voters trust you anymore after the circumstances of the crash and now this?
A: Well I've been in elected office for 14 years and I think I have had a track record of making good decisions and sometimes tough decisions. Certainly people may have their questions. All I can say is, this is what happened. I am thankful to be alive.
Q 5: Has the data from the breathalyzer test that you said you took at the scene of the accident been made public yet?
A: You will have to ask the State Police.
Q 6: To the best of your recollection has it been made public and if it hasn't, would you like to ask them to make it release that?
A: I don't know if they have released that or if you have asked for it, but I have no problem with that. Again, I want to be respectful of whatever their policies or protocols are.
Q 7: You did not take the breathalyzer at the Barracks or at the Hospital, is that correct?
A: I requested a breathalyzer at the scene, yes.
Q 8: But you didn't go to the Barracks to get the test that would go directly in the case (inaudible)?
A: No, I asked for a breathalyzer at the scene.
Q 9: Why did you say black ice and do you have no recollection of nodding off?
A: I don't. This happened very quickly. I think the data says a matter of seconds. My recollection is that after the car stopped rolling I realized I was okay. I got out of the car, it was snowy conditions, I walked up to the side of the road, there were icy conditions there and as first responders came to the scene they commented on the black ice and warned each other of the slippery conditions, so I assumed that is what caused my accident.
Q 10: Did you receive special preferential treatment in the handling of this case that anyone else in the Commonwealth would not have been treated in the same way?
A: No, throughout this I have asked for no special treatment. I proactively asked for a breathalyzer. Later, I said I am going to let the State Police handle this. When there was a question if this was a public record made by the Secretary of State I asked them to deviate from their normal policies and procedures (and release the information). They ordinarily only access this information when there is a fatality or serious injury, which did not happen here. So I proactively asked for it after the Secretary of State made the preliminary ruling and that information is with you.
Q 11: Is this why you didn't push to have the data released right away?
A: No it isn't. I didn't want to ask the State Police to deviate from a policy that they have had in place for a long period of time. When the question came up about this being a public record I asked that it be released.
Q 12: Are there any cell phone records or email records from the date of the accident?
A: I know that there is a request in with the Chief Legal Counsel and I will let him handle that request but I can tell you I was not on the phone, I was not texting and I was not emailing anybody.
Q 13: (Inaudible - something about storm damage being difficult to see)
A: Listen, you know I had headlights. Being from Western Mass, you understand the magnitude of the Nor'easter that hit the state. You could certainly see limbs down, you could get a sense of the power situation and I guess it was a bad habit of a former mayor going out and taking a look at things.
Q 14: Anything else you would like to get off your chest about the crash?
A: I feel badly that this has happened. It has been a distraction to the work that I do and hopefully we can put this to rest and move forward.
Q 15: You said you weren't texting or emailing, but when the crash first happened you made statements about things that you believed to be the case. Why make these statements when you just said that you weren't sure what happened?
A: I can tell you I was not on the phone, I was not emailing, I was not texting. I know that. I can tell you that. It is not something I ordinarily do in the car while driving and you'll have to take my word for it.
Q 16: Were you really particularly tired when you got behind the wheel that morning and was that a smart decision?
A: In hindsight, it wasn't. But I woke up at some point, for those of you that have kids I have a 5-year-old daughter that at some point crawled into bed. I woke up, couldn't get back to sleep, tried to, then got up and went out.
Q 17: But were you feeling tired when you got behind the wheel?
A: I can't remember specifically.
Q 18: On the issue of falling asleep, we talked to an expert who says accelerating is actually not consistent with falling asleep, so I'm just wondering from your perspective, do you remember falling asleep? What do you remember?
A: As I said, this happened in seconds and as I said I think this is what happened and I am going to take responsibility for it.
Q 19: But do you think that is what happened because the State Police suggested that as a possibility or do you actually believe that is what happened?
A: I believe that is what happened, it's the only explanation.
Q 20: And what do you say about going 108 and not wearing a seatbelt to the citizens of the Commonwealth?
A: As I said, this was an accident, it happened within seconds. I think if you look at the data, the rate of speed for the route that I traveled show that for the majority of that route I was going a reasonable speed. This was an unfortunate accident.
Q 21: Do you normally wear your seatbelt?
A: I normally do and walking away from that accident I assumed that I did.
Q 22: Do you recall if you put on a seatbelt when you got in the car?
A: I believed that I did.
Q 23: Had you been drinking at all, bringing up the breathalyzer question but without the release of that, had you been drinking at all?
A: I had nothing to drink. I took the breathalyzer expecting this question and I assure you that I had nothing to drink.
Q 24: Can you tell us what you were doing the night before and how much sleep you got?
A: I just explained to you, I was home at 8:30, I said I went to bed a few hours after the kids went to bed and woke up at some point.
--end of press conference--