In the Chappaquiddick incident on July 18, 1969, Mary Jo Kopechne, a female passenger of U.S. Senator Edward M. 'Ted' Kennedy, was killed when he accidentally drove his car off a bridge and into a tidal channel on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts. Kennedy swam free and left the scene, not reporting within nine hours, but Kopechne died in the vehicle. In the early hours of July 19, Kopechne's body and the car were recovered. Kennedy pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury and received a two-month suspended jail sentence. The incident became a national scandal, and may have influenced Kennedy's decision not to campaign for President of the United States in 1972 and 1976.
Contributions by Grover cleveland, Blaxthos, and Invertzoo.