The Oakland Police Department was forced to issue a correction on Tuesday, after releasing a statement last week saying that Mayor Jean Quan was not using her cell phone in a June car crash that injured another driver.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, police spokesperson Johnna Watson issued the corrected statement, saying traffic investigators were “unable to determine whether or not cell phones were in use at the time of collision.”
The previous statement, issued last week by Quan’s spokeswoman Karen Boyd on behalf of the Oakland Police Department, said police had “ruled out” the “use of a handheld communication device by either driver.” Boyd made the statement on behalf of police because, she claimed, a gas leak had shut down the Police Administration Building and authorities were unable to issue the statement themselves.
Mayor Quan issued her own statement shortly after Boyd.
“As the investigation found, and as substantiated by my cell phone records, I was not using my cell phone while driving, and it was not a factor in the traffic accident,” the mayor’s statement read.
The accident happened on June 8, when Lakisha Lovely, 36, struck the mayor’s city-issued Lexus at the intersection of 26th and Market Street. Lovely and her 14-year-old passenger were reportedly in pain, and were taken to a hospital for examination.
Margarett Randel, 22, told the San Jose Mercury News that she saw the accident happen.
“I seen the whole thing,” she said. “Mayor Quan passed right through the red light. She wasn’t looking where she was going. She was looking down.” Still, Randel could not definitively say that Quan was using her cell phone.
Sean Maher, a spokesman for Mayor Quan, told the Chronicle that despite the police statement, the mayor’s statement remains “unchanged” since the accident.
“Mayor Quan was absolutely not on her phone at the time of the collision,” he said.