Inquest Judge Doubts Testimony Given By Kennedy
Judge James A. Boyle yesterday challenged the account Sen. Edward M. Kennedy '54 (D-Mass.) gave of the accident that killed Mary Jo Kopechne. Boyle said that he did not believe that Kennedy had driven accidentally onto the road leading to a Chappaquiddick Island beach, as Kennedy had testified.
In the inquest report released yesterday Boyle stated that Kennedy "did not intend to drive to the ferry" and that "his turn onto Dyke Road was intentional."
Boyle said that because Kennedy was familiar with the bridge to which Dyke Road leads, his dirving at "a speed of even 20 miles per hour... would at least be negligent and possibly reckless."
"At the inquest I truthfully answered all questions asked of me," Kennedy said yesterday, upon learning of the judge's charge. "In my personal view, the influence and ultimate finding of the judge's report are not justified and I reject them."
It was uncertain yesterday whether a new grand jury could be sworn in to reopen the investigation of the accident. Kennedy had driven the car off the Dyke Road Bridge into a tidal pond, drowning the 28-year-old passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne.