Ex-US Ambassador Busted in Hit-and-Run
Ryan Crocker pleaded not guilty, despite blood-alcohol twice legal limit
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2012 4:39 AM CDT
Ryan Crocker, former US ambassador in Afghanistan, talks about issues during an interview in Kabul, Afghanistan, last month.   (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)

(Newser) – The former US ambassador to Afghanistan has been busted for drunken driving and hit-and-run after crashing into a semi truck, reports AP. Ryan Crocker pleaded not guilty to the charges, despite registering a blood-alcohol level at nearly twice the legal limit, said law enforcement authorities. Crocker, who was driving a 2009 Mustang convertible, tried turning right from the left lane at an intersection in Washington state, and drove into the path of the oncoming truck, said police. The vehicles collided, and Crocker's car spun out of control, but he continued driving, according to witnesses.

"He was very cooperative, but obviously intoxicated," said a Washington trooper. Crocker is a fluent Arabic speaker and six-time ambassador, including to Iraq, Pakistan, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Syria. He retired after serving as ambassador to Iraq because of health issues, but came out of retirement to serve as ambassador to Afghanistan at the request of President Obama.