Rep. Cecil Heftel (D-Hawaii) was in satisfactory condition at Walter Reed Army Medical Center yesterday, with a broken hip and other broken bones, after the car he was driving skidded off rain-sl w0051 ----- r d BC-05/10/83-HEFTEL 05-11 0001 Rep. Heftel Hospitalized After His Car Hits Tree By John Mintz Washington Post Staff Writer
Rep. Cecil Heftel (D-Hawaii) was in satisfactory condition at Walter Reed Army Medical Center yesterday, with a broken hip and other broken bones, after the car he was driving skidded off rain-slicked Independence Avenue on Sunday and hit a tree.
"He's in a lot of pain," said Robert Dye, Heftel's administrative aide. Besides the broken hip, Heftel also broke his ankle, wrist and nose, and received cuts to his face, Dye said. "He didn't want to engage in any conversation not related to his health."
Doctors are considering operating on Heftel's hip Wednesday, Dye said.
The accident happened just before 3:30 p.m. Sunday as Heftel was alone in a rented Oldsmobile traveling westbound on Independence Avenue near the Lincoln Memorial, U.S. Park Police said.
Dye said the congressman told him that a car pulled in front of his car on Independence Avenue, and that he hit the brakes, turned the steering wheel, went over a curb and hit a tree.
But the park police's report on the accident, based on Heftel's account to police, did not mention another car, said park police spokesman Sandra Alley. "Maybe he just didn't bring that out at the time" he spoke to police, Alley said. There apparently were no witnesses, she said.
Police filed no charges and consider the case closed, Alley said. Heftel had been driving at about 30 miles per hour at the time of the accident, within the legal limit, police said.
Heftel was hospitalized last August after he had a $100 bill snatched from his hand in an all-night drugstore in downtown Washington, and then was involved in a fracas with another customer.
Police said that Heftel tried to stop the thief by throwing an unidentified item at him, but that the missile missed the thief and hit a woman customer. The customer's husband then punched Heftel, who was taken to the hospital for observation. He never recovered his money.
Heftel, 58, a resident of Honolulu, heads a broadcasting company there and is in his fourth term in the House.