Watch CBSN Live

Lewinsky's Car Rolls Over

Monica Lewinsky was slightly injured when she became distracted while driving and her sport utility vehicle rolled over into oncoming traffic in Ventura.

The dark blue Explorer toppled on its side at 1 p.m. Sunday on Highway 101 about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles, said Bob Inman, a CHP dispatcher.

Â"She was awake and alert when paramedics arrived,Â" Inman said.

Motorists who stopped to help didn't recognize the former White House intern, according to Will Wood, who said he witnessed the accident.

Â"She had a lot of cuts on her left arm and some of her blood got onto my hands,Â" Wood said in a telephone interview. Â"But she never passed out.Â"

Lewinsky, 26, was treated for scrapes and bruises at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura and released, said a nursing supervisor who declined to give her name.

Lewinsky's father and another person, who was not identified, came to the hospital to pick her up, the supervisor said. Â"She's fine,Â" Dr. Bernard Lewinsky told Los Angeles television station KABC.

Inman said Lewinsky, who lives in Los Angeles, was not cited for the accident and alcohol or drugs weren't involved in the crash.

Lewinsky, who was alone, was driving in the left northbound lane when she reached over to the passenger seat to take something out of her purse, Inman said.

Â"When she looked up, she realized she was very close to a motor home which was traveling in the lane next to her,Â" Inman said, quoting a report taken by officers investigating the accident.

Lewinsky veered left to avoid a collision and lost control. She swerved back and forth but was unable to regain control and the Explorer crossed a dusty median strip and toppled on its side, coming to rest in the left southbound lane, Inman said.

The southbound lane was closed for about 30 minutes while the vehicle was towed away. The Explorer, which had about 5000 miles on the odometer, was scratched and dented and its driver's side mirror was crushed.

Â"She missed our car by about 10 feet,Â" said Wood, 45, a retired police officer from Santa Barbara.

Wood said he had to swerve to miss the Explorer. He and other motorists stopped to aid the driver.

Â"I saw there was a girl in the front seat, and she was trying to get out of her safety belt. I didn't know who she was,Â" he said.

Â"She said her name was Monica and we were using her name to calm her down, like 'It's okay, Monica,Â"' Wood added.

Mike Moore, a Ventura County Fire Department rescue worker, told Los Angeles TV station KTLA he didn't realize who Lewinsky was until a CHP officer tipped him off.

Â"It was a surprise. You never know who's going to come cruising down the 101,Â" Moore said.

Written by Anthony Breznican
©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

View CBS News In