View Full Version : Governor Corzine suffered broken leg, ribs in car crash

Impeach Corzine
04-12-2007, 10:53 PM
Gov. Jon Corzine suffered leg fractures and multiple rib fractures in this afternoon's crash of his SUV on the Garden State Parkway. The governor is undergoing surgery at Cooper University Medical Center in Camden. At a news conference this evening, Steven Ross, a trauma surgeon at Cooper, said Corzine is "stable, in the operating room having leg fractures attended to." Ross said that after surgery Corzine will be in the Intensive Care Unit in critical but stable condition. Ross said the governor did not sustain head injury.

Corzine was flown by Medevac helicopter to Cooper after the SUV he was riding in went off the northbound lane of the Parkway in Galloway Township, Atlantic County, struck a guard rail and ended up on the grassy edge of a wooded median. The accident occurred about 5:45 p.m. near milepost 43. The governor and his personal aide were traveling in a black Suburban SUV driven by a state trooper, as part of a two-car motorcade. State Police spokesman Capt. Al Della Fave said the accident was caused when a red pickup truck swerved into the path of another vehicle. That second vehicle then swerved into the path of the governor's vehicle which drove off the road onto the median to avoid it, striking a metal guardrail. The driver of the second vehicle stopped, but the red pickup did not.

Senate President Richard Codey said he was notified he would be acting governor while Corzine was in surgery and under anesthesia.

Hours after the accident, the governor's black SUV remained at the scene. It was perched on a piece of mangled guard rail, off the left side of the northbound lanes, its rear wheels on the rail and its crumpled front end on the grassy edge of the wooded median. Floodlights illuminated the scene as investigators continued their work. Corzine had been in Atlantic City this afternoon. He took part in a forum on property tax rebates for renters at the Herman Pogachefsky Senior Services Pavillion, then spoke to the New Jersey Conference of Mayors at its annual convention at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. Corzine was headed back to Drumthwacket, the governor's mansion in Princeton, where radio shock jock Don Imus was meeting this evening with members of the Rutgers women's basketball team. Corzine had planned to moderate that meeting.

04-13-2007, 10:39 AM
I read in the Tribune that Corzine was injured and that it was pretty bad. Govenor Cody will be filling in for him in the meantime. Marianita

04-18-2007, 10:34 AM
It is in our local paper that Corzine was driving 91 MPH on the Garden State Parkway when he crashed. He was wearing no seatbelt either. I am sorry he got hurt and hope he recovers soon. He may have not realized he was driving so fast. Marianita

Impeach Corzine
04-18-2007, 03:11 PM
Remember, Corzine himself was not driving the SUV a state trooper was driving, which is normal. It is not normal proceedure to drive 91 with lights and sirens going when it is not a category 2 or even category 1 event. Plus by NJ State Troop regulations even during a category 2 event (highly critical event) they are only to exceed the posted sppeed limit by 25MPH so the trooper driving was at the limit of a category 2 event, which it was not.

This trooper has had accidents prior to this one, 1 in 2003 & 2004 while on the job. He also has had 2 other traffic accidents on his personal time according to DMV records.

04-18-2007, 03:58 PM
Corzine's vehicle clocked at 91 mph
Home News Tribune Online 04/18/07
TRENTON The sport-utility vehicle carrying Gov. Jon S. Corzine was traveling 91 mph just before it crashed on the Garden State Parkway last week, leaving the governor, who was not wearing a seat belt, critically injured, State Police said Tuesday.

State Police Superintendent Col. Joseph "Rick" Fuentes said troopers driving governors have discretion whether to speed or use their lights in emergency situations or to avoid standing traffic for security reasons.

He refused to comment on whether Corzine's trip from Atlantic City to Princeton for a meeting at the governor's mansion between fired radio personality Don Imus and the Rutgers University women's basketball team constituted an emergency.

Hours after Thursday's crash, Fuentes said speed was not believed to have contributed to the crash. But information retrieved from a black box on Corzine's trooper-driven Chevrolet Suburban showed it was going 91 mph five seconds before the crash, and 30 mph when it crashed through a guardrail in Galloway, Atlantic County. The speed limit there is 65 mph.

"I didn't have access to that data at the time," Fuentes said. "My initial information was that it was not readily apparent, but it did not appear as if, at the time, that speed was a factor."

Asked directly if speed was now a factor, Fuentes said, "Speed is always a factor."

State police said the investigation is ongoing but has reached a point where the State Police Motor Vehicle Accident and Vehicular Pursuit Review Board can immediately begin an examination of whether Corzine's driver, Trooper Robert Rasinski, 34, of Point Pleasant, could have prevented the crash and should be disciplined.

He also said the only other traffic at that point of two-lane Parkway were the two pickups.

Fuentes said Rasinski told investigators he wasn't aware he was going 91 mph.

"To the best of my knowledge, he wasn't aware of the speed at the time, so we kind of relied on the technical evidence to kind of back up what I'm telling you," said Fuentes, adding that Corzine did not instruct Rasinski to speed to Drumthwacket.

Corzine spokesman Anthony Coley said Corzine's children are grateful for the way Rasinski navigated the crash.

"Right now, Jennifer, Joshua and Jeffrey are focused on their dad's health and recovery from this unfortunate accident," Coley said.

Corzine, as he has since last week, remained in critical but stable condition at Cooper University Hospital in Camden. He remained on a ventilator with no signs of complications.

"The family is pleased with his progress," Coley said.

On Sunday, Senate President Richard Codey, who has been acting governor since Corzine's crash, said when he was governor for 14 months between 2004 to 2006, troopers never drove that fast.

"I've heard this thing about 90 all I can tell you for myself, I was never in one that went 90, nor would I want to be," Codey said.

The report confirmed what has been widely accepted as fact, that Rasinski wore a seat belt, but Corzine did not. The release said it's the "driver's responsibility to ensure that all front-seat occupants under the age of 18 are properly restrained."

Now, a panel that reviews all crashes and pursuits involving state police will begin its investigation. The panel consists of six members of the state police, but for this case will also have Kathleen Wiechnik, of the state Ethics Commission.

Rasinski is on medical leave for a cut to the head and an ankle injury but can return to work once cleared by a doctor, Fuentes said.

While giving the clearest depiction to date of the crash that left Corzine unconscious for several days, and still unable to perform his gubernatorial duties, Fuentes said the drivers of two other vehicles involved won't be charged.

"This was a series of events that we didn't believe attributed fault to either one of those two drivers," Fuentes said. "They became witnesses to this accident, and that's the way we treated them."

According to police, Kenneth Potts, 20, of Little Egg Harbor Township, was in the right lane but shifted to the shoulder when the lights-flashing, two-vehicle motorcade approached. In the shoulder, he veered back to the left to avoid striking a mile marker, causing a second pickup driven by John M. Carrino Jr. of Vernon to veer left, nudging the governor's Suburban. Rasinski lost control of the car and crashed into a guardrail.

Corzine was thrust into the back of the SUV, breaking several bones. Fuentes said a portion of the guardrail entered the vehicle but did not strike Corzine who by then most likely had been hurled to the back.

Gregory J. Volpe:



04-18-2007, 11:06 PM
As I said before I am very sorry that the govenor got injured. What I do not understand is not wearing a seatbelt and driving 91 MPH on the Parkway. The little black box which tells what speed the vehicle was going is usually on the newer vehicles. I am sure there will be a complete investigation when Corzine is better and able to communicate.
I agree with Cody. I would not want to be in a vehicle that is going 90 MPH especially on the expressway.

04-18-2007, 11:15 PM
Hi impeachcorzine, I realize now that Corzine was not driving at the time. But the trooper was going way too fast as you said and I am surprised at the speed. I would think 91 MPH would make one feel as if they were flying. Was it determined why they had the flashing lights on? The trooper sounds as if he should not be driving anything at all. In view of the fact that he has had accidents in the past it appears that he is at fault. Corzine might have fared better with a seatbelt. It is a law in New Jersey to be wearing one. It will take time before we find out just why things happened as they did. Marianita

05-08-2007, 03:23 PM
"Shortly after his release from the hospital, it was reported that the Governor's motorcade, while traveling on Interstate 295 enroute to Drumthwacket, was clocked at a speed of 70 MPH while in a 55 MPH zone"


05-09-2007, 04:47 PM
Yes, the speed was excessive indeed. I am not sure if they have investigated yet or are still going to. Marianita