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04-17-07, 09:46 PM #1
N.J. governor still on ventilator as he recovers from 91mph crash
Corzine’s SUV going 91 mph when crashed
N.J. governor still on ventilator as he recovers from broken bones
The Associated Press
Updated: 6:57 p.m. ET April 17, 2007
CAMDEN, N.J. - The sport utility vehicle carrying Gov. Jon S. Corzine was traveling about 91 mph moments before it crashed, the superintendent of state police said Tuesday.
The governor was critically injured when the vehicle crashed into a guardrail on the Garden State Parkway just north of Atlantic City last week. He apparently was not wearing his seat belt as he rode in the front passenger's seat.
The speed limit along that stretch of the parkway is 65 mph.
The state trooper-driven SUV was in the left lane with its emergency lights flashing when a pickup tried to get out of its way. Instead, it set off a chain reaction that resulted in the crash.
Corzine broke his left thigh bone, 11 ribs, collarbone and chest bone. He also fractured a vertebrae in his lower back.
He remained in critical but stable condition Tuesday and doctors were assessing when he might be ready to breathe without a ventilator. Spokesman Anthony Coley said Tuesday the governor was showing improvement.
Doctors have said he doesn't have brain damage or paralysis, and is doing well for someone who sustained so many injuries.
The driver, Trooper Robert Rasinski, could be charged if the state police Motor Vehicular Pursuit Review Board determines the crash was preventable, Superintendent of State Police Col. Rick Fuentes said.
Fuentes said speed was a factor in the accident. A black box inside the SUV recorded the speed of the SUV five seconds before the crash. He said the executive protection unit has the discretion to move through traffic by stepping up its speed and using flashing lights when necessary.
"If it's a non-emergency situation, we would ask them to obey the traffic laws and the speed laws in the interest of safety," he said.
Rasinski and an aide to the governor were not seriously hurt. The trooper will remain out of work until he is cleared by a doctor to return, Fuentes said.
The driver of the pickup truck was not charged.
There is no timetable for when Corzine may be able to resume governing the state Senate President Richard J. Codey is acting governor.
Once Corzine is breathing unassisted, he should be able to speak. That milestone would make it possible for physical therapists to do more to help him regain use of his leg — a process expected to take up to six months.
Corzine, a 60-year-old former investment banker, gave up his seat in the U.S. Senate to become governor in 2006.
© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
04-18-07, 05:35 AM #2Banned
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Sucks to be him. Sucks for the officer who is going to get blamed after the spin cycle.
Sucks for the public since this idiot governor will turn this to his political advantage by becoming an advocate of mandatory self clicking seatbelts, standard airbags, required vehicle stability control and blackbox laws.
04-18-07, 11:10 AM #3
I was listening to talk radio for a little while yesterday, and one issue that came up repeatedly was whether or not Corzine would (or should) be issued a ticket for not wearing his seatbelt. Some callers said that he shouldn't be given a ticket because he was hurt so badly and he was the only one seriously injured in the crash.
04-18-07, 11:18 AM #4The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Beans" on LEF.
04-18-07, 07:07 PM #5...........................................
04-18-07, 08:04 PM #6
Here's an updated article about it. One thing that's mentioned is the determination of the Trooper's responsibility for the governor's failure to wear a seat belt. Maybe this is a stupid question, but what is he supposed to do if the governor says no, I'm not wearing a seatbelt?
Details surrounding Corzine's crash change dramatically
04-18-07, 08:13 PM #7Banned
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Beans - you're right. I should have directed my comments to the celebrity of the office, not the man himself. I get a bit carried away with my disgust for hypocritical politicians.
This spokesman for AAA sets the properly subdued tone while using the accident to support his message. And so long as it's a message of learning I have no argument with it, though is their timing premature as well?
"With all due respect to the governor and with complete compassion in mind for the injuries he sustained, he has set a poor example," said David Weinstein, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman.
Some people are hopeful Corzine _ once he recovers from injuries that include a broken leg, ribs, collarbone and sternum _ can turn his accident into a message about the importance of using seat belts.
"He could be the poster child to make people listen, to show that traffic crashes and the injuries you get in them if you're not wearing your seat belt can hit anyone," Weinstein said.
04-18-07, 08:57 PM #8
I watched my dad on life support for over a week and it is a terrible thing to go through. Not knowing if they will live or die. Awful.The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Beans" on LEF.
06-23-07, 09:51 AM #9
Here's a follow-up on the Trooper who was driving at the time of that crash:
Trooper in Corzine crash faces discipline
by John P. Martin, Rick Hepp and Claire Heininger
The head of the New Jersey State Police today said he would discipline the trooper who drove Gov. Jon Corzine during his near-fatal accident on the Garden State Parkway, concluding that the driver was unjustifiably speeding and could have prevented the crash.
In a letter to the attorney general's office, State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes described Tpr. Robert Rasinki's behavior as "culpably inefficient" and said it violated the regulations of the department and the unit that guards the governor.
"Rasinski did not possess the appropriate level of situational awareness in the moments leading up to the accident," Fuentes wrote.
The superintendent said he would impose "an appropriate disciplinary sanction" on the trooper but did not elaborate.
David Jones, president of the State Troopers Fraternal Association, said the recommended penalty is a suspension of up to five days. Jones said Rasinski had not yet decided if he would appeal the ruling. Rasinski, a seven-year veteran of the force, declined to comment today.
But the recommendation, outlined in a two-page letter, represented the end of the internal investigation into the April 12 accident that hospitalized the governor for 18 days and sparked scrutiny of his travels and the troopers who escort him.
The trooper failed to identify the red pickup truck that set off the chain of events that led to the crash as a threat, Fuentes wrote. He said Rasinski - who was driving 91 mph in a 65 mph zone at the time of the crash - did not recall having to increase his speed prior to accident, and did not recall if the SUV's emergency lights were activated, though investigators determined they were.
"Notwithstanding Trooper Rasinski's commendable actions to regain control of the vehicle after the initial impact," Fuentes wrote, the trooper lacked "situational awareness," and therefore his use of speed and emergency lights were unathorized under department policy.
But Corzine said he expects Rasinski to remain a part of the elite unit that drives the governor.
"Moments ago, I spoke to Trooper Rasinski and reiterated my personal gratitude, and the gratitude of my family, for the way he controlled the SUV on April 12," Corzine said in a statement released in response to the conclusions. "I have confidence in Rob and would expect him to remain in the Executive Protection Unit."
"This has been a regrettable and painful experience for all involved, and no one is more aware of that than I. A lot of mistakes were made on April 12; chief among them was my failure to wear a seat belt," Corzine said. "I retain complete trust in the Executive Protection Unit, and I am grateful for the job they do daily. They are selfless, dedicated professionals who protect others without regard for their own well-being."
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