Conn. Gov. Escapes Car Accident Uninjured

A teenage driver hit Gov. M. Jodi Rell's car early Tuesday, but the governor was uninjured, a spokesman said.

A vehicle struck the driver's side door of the governor's car just after 7 a.m., said Brookfield Police Chief Robin Montgomery.

"The other car drifted over the center line and basically clipped the governor's vehicle," Montgomery said.

Rell and the state trooper driving Rell's car all escaped injured, Montgomery said. The other driver, a 16-year-old girl, was also uninjured. Rell was transferred to another car and continued on to a morning appointment, said John Wiltse, a gubernatorial spokesman.

"She put her arm around the young driver and reassured her the important thing is everyone is OK and cars can always be repaired," said Rell spokesman Judd Everhart. "The girl apparently told her that she had hoped to meet the governor someday, but not under those circumstances."

The 16-year-old received a written warning for failing to drive in an established lane.

Rell, 59, a Republican, took office July 2004 midway through her fourth term as Connecticut's lieutenant governor. She succeeded John Rowland, who resigned amid a federal corruption probe and possible impeachment. She has continued to live in her Brookfield residence instead of the governor's mansion.

The past two weeks have been tough on Republican governors. Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher contracted a blood infection after undergoing gallbladder surgery last week and remained hospitalized Tuesday but was showing improvement, a spokeswoman said. New York Gov. George Pataki had his appendix removed last week and also remained hospitalized Tuesday.