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Crash leaves one lawmaker upset with another

Rep. Larcenia Bullard says a fellow lawmaker left her injured after an automobile collision in December.

Bullard, D-Miami, said she suffered chest and head injuries during the Dec. 3 collision on Capital Circle in Tallahassee. Sen. George Kirkpatrick, R-Gainesville, was driving the other vehicle, she said.

"I couldn't believe a colleague would treat me this way," Bullard said.

But Kirkpatrick's version of the story is different. He told the Tallahassee Democrat that he was on his way to a meeting in Miami and that Bullard declined his offer to go with him to the airport and called police.

"She said she'd had a couple of operations and thought she needed to get checked," Kirkpatrick said. "We exchanged all the information and I called her office a couple of times and sent flowers."

Although the incident report listed Kirkpatrick as "at fault," no criminal charges were filed against him, said Maj. Ken Howes of the Florida Highway Patrol. Howes said Kirkpatrick was interviewed at Tallahassee Regional Airport while Bullard was at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.

The FHP report made no mention of injuries, but Bullard said she hurt her chest after being snagged by her seat belt, banged her head on the inside of the car and may have aggravated a previous back injury.

The report said there was $300 worth of damage to the car she was riding in but only $5 worth of damage to Kirkpatrick's truck.

"It's just the principle," Bullard said. "Not only was I hurt, but I believe my spirits were broken."