PDA

View Full Version : NJ Gov. Corzine in car accident, leg broken



antinimby
April 12th, 2007, 09:18 PM
NJ Gov. Corzine in car accident, leg broken


http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/nm/20070413/2007_04_12t194448_450x340_us_corzine.jpg
New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine in Trenton, July 6, 2006. Corzine was
involved in a serious hit-and-run automobile accident near the gambling
center of Atlantic City, fracturing his leg, a spokesman said on Thursday.


April 12, 2007 (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070412/pl_nm/corzine_dc)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine was involved in a serious hit-and-run automobile accident near the gambling center of Atlantic City, fracturing his leg, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Corzine broke his leg and was flown to a nearby hospital. One local news outlet that tracks police news, Breaking News Network, said he suffered chest pains while being transported to the hospital but that could not be confirmed.

"The governor's motorcade was involved in an accident a short time ago. He has sustained injuries. They do not appear to be life-threatening," said Anthony Coley, Corzine's spokesman.

The billionaire made his money at Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs before turning to politics.

A New Jersey state trooper was also hospitalized with more serious injuries after the two-car accident, local media reported.

Television images of the crash's aftermath showed the governor's car on the grass beside the Garden State Parkway severely damaged with debris scattered nearby.

Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited

JCMAN320
April 12th, 2007, 11:46 PM
They have just updated him to critical. He had a broken collar bone, several broken ribs, severe chest pain, and severally broke leg.

Pleae pray for our Gov. Jon Corzine. He has been doing great things for New Jersey and he was on his way to meet with the Rutgers Women team who were meeting with Don Imus. Please keep in your prayers, I have met him in person and a friend of mine is very close to him and he is a very very nice man so please keep in your prayers. :( . Thank You

JCMAN320
April 13th, 2007, 12:44 AM
Worse then we feared people Corzine is lucky he wasnt killed!

Governor undergoes surgery for numerous fractures after car crash (11:30 p.m. update)

Posted by The Star-Ledger April 12, 2007 11:35PM

MATT RAINEY/THE STAR-LEDGER
Emergency personnel surround Gov. Jon Corzine's vehicle on the northbound lanes of the Garden State Parkway in Galloway Township.
Gov. Jon Corzine suffered broken ribs, a broken leg and several other fractures this evening when the SUV in which he was riding swerved to avoid another vehicle on the Garden State Parkway and crashed into a guardrail this evening.

The governor was undergoing surgery at Cooper University Hospital in Camden. Trauma surgeon Steven Ross said at an evening news conference that Corzine was "stable, in the operating room having leg fractures attended to."

The governor's spokesman, Anthony Coley, said shortly after 11 p.m. that the governor was still in surgery and would be for an hour or so.

Coley said the governor suffered six broken ribs on each side; a broken femur (thigh bone); a broken sternum; a broken collarbone; a slight fracture of lower vertebrae and head lacerations. He said there did not appear to be any brain injury or damage to the spinal cord.

Ross said that after surgery Corzine will be in the Intensive Care Unit and listed in critical but stable condition.


Corzine, 60, 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 governor sustained injuries. They were not life-threatening," said spokesman Anthony Coley.

The accident occurred about 5:45 p.m. near milepost 43. The governor and his personal aide were traveling in a black Tahoe 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, Della Fave said. He said police were looking for the driver of the pickup and were reviewing Parkway cameras hoping for more information on the vehicle.

"If an individual was operating a red pickup truck in that area, we hope they contact the New Jersey State Police,'' he said.

Corzine was riding in the front passenger seat of the SUV alongside his driver, Trooper Robert Rasinski, 34, according to New Jersey State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes. In the back sat Samantha Gordon, 25, an aide who typically accompanies Corzine when he travels beyond the Statehouse.

Rasinski, a member of the governor's security detail, and Gordon were injured and taken to area hospitals. The extent of their injuries was not immediately clear although neither were believed to be serious.

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

"On behalf of the citizens of New Jersey I want to wish him a speedy recovery," Codey said.

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.

Fuentes said that investigators didnt believe speed was a factor in the crash.

"From our preliminary investigation it looks as if the trooper did a tremendous job in maintaining what control he could over that vehicle give the fact that the other vehicle swerved into his path," he said.

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. He made an appearance just after 5 p.m. on the Pinky Kravitz show on WOND 1400 AM radio.

Corzine was headed back to Drumthwacket, the governor's mansion in Princeton, where radio shock jock Don Imus is meeting this evening with members of the Rutgers women's basketball team. Corzine had planned to moderate that meeting.

Northbound traffic on the Parkway was halted for a time after the crash. Turnpike Authority spokesman Joe Orlando said it was later restricted to one lane past the scene. Southbound lanes were not restricted.

Portable electronic signs were directing traffic into the single open northbound lane, as troopers waved cars past, not allowing anyone to stop. Northbound traffic was backed up for more than two miles as of 9 p.m.

Contributed by Dan Murphy with reporting from Deborah Howlett, Brian Donohue, Susan K. Livio, Joe Donohue, Dunstan McNichol, MaryAnn Spoto, Angela Stewart and George Berkin

JCMAN320
April 13th, 2007, 02:30 AM
Its gets worse people. Corzine was close to death when he came in.

He broke is femur in three places and has a rod in there and he has a breathing tube down his throat and the machine is breathing for him. The machine will breathe for him for about a week. Rehab would take about 6 months. Richard Codey will be acting Gov.

This is really sad unfortunate and the doctors said he its amazing he wasn't killed.

Please pray for him :(

kevin
April 13th, 2007, 02:16 PM
Its gets worse people. Corzine was close to death when he came in.

He broke is femur in three places and has a rod in there and he has a breathing tube down his throat and the machine is breathing for him. The machine will breathe for him for about a week. Rehab would take about 6 months. Richard Codey will be acting Gov.

This is really sad unfortunate and the doctors said he its amazing he wasn't killed.

Please pray for him :(

I'm a big fan of Corzine, and I was saddened to hear that he was in this accident. If anything good comes out of it, maybe people will wear their seatbelts.

I hope they catch the truck that was involved.

BrooklynRider
April 13th, 2007, 08:22 PM
How tragic. It's sad to see anyone go through such trauma. Hope he comes through it all right.

JCMAN320
April 16th, 2007, 08:06 AM
GLOBAL RESPONSE FOR AILING GOV

Monday, April 16, 2007

TRENTON - Prayers and well wishes from around the world have poured in for Gov. Jon S. Corzine as he recovers from an automobile accident that almost killed him.

President Bush, dignitaries from various countries, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and nearly two dozen governors have contacted the governor's office or his family to show their support for Corzine.

Ambassadors Biwei Liu of China and Motosuto Sakurai of Japan, two countries he visited during a regional tour focusing on commercial trade between his state and Asian nations last May, also sent get-well messages to the governor.

Corzine, 60, was critically injured in a car accident Thursday when the SUV he was riding in crashed into a guard rail on the Garden State Parkway. His vehicle was hit by another vehicle that swerved to avoid a pickup truck.

The governor, who was apparently not wearing his seat belt and riding in the front of the vehicle, broke his leg, 12 ribs, his breastbone and his collarbone. He also suffered a head laceration and a minor fracture on a lower vertebra.

Corzine continued to make progress yesterday as he recovers in the intensive care unit at Cooper University Hospital, where he was airlifted after the crash. The hospital has received dozens of bouquets of flowers for the governor, according to spokeswoman Lori Shaffer. They've been distributed to other patients because they can't be delivered to intensive care, she said.

Senate President Richard J. Codey, who is acting governor until Corzine is well enough to resume his duties, has asked for people to pray for the ailing governor.

The Rev. Reginald Jackson, executive director of the Black Ministers Council of New Jersey, said he led a special prayer for Corzine yesterday at his church, St. Matthew A.M.E. in Orange.

"We asked the Lord if he would heal and restore his body and that he would ease his pain and restore him that he can return to giving leadership to this state," Jackson said.

Jackson said his congregation is being very supportive, but they are "disappointed that the governor didn't have his seat belt on."

"But their main concern now is that the governor gets well," he said.

JCMAN320
April 16th, 2007, 08:14 AM
Doctors may take Corzine off ventilator
Move could come after surgery today

Monday, April 16, 2007
BY DEBORAH HOWLETT AND TED SHERMAN
Star-Ledger Staff

Doctors hope today to take Gov. Jon Corzine off the ventilator that has been breathing for him since he was critically injured Thursday, an event that would mark the first milestone in his recovery.

Corzine, who underwent what was termed a routine procedure yesterday to remove fluid that had collected around his left lung, has been sedated and on the mechanical ventilator since the serious traffic accident, which left him with a compound fracture of his left femur, a fractured sternum and 11 broken ribs.

He remains at Cooper University Hospital in Camden in critical condition.

While doctors have said the 60-year-old governor is able to breathe on his own without the ventilator, it has been used to ease the severe pain and effort of breathing from the multiple broken ribs. The governor already has undergone two surgeries on his badly broken leg and is expected to undergo a third today, involving a cleaning of tissue from his leg to prevent infection.

The fluid removed from around the governor's lungs yesterday was common after one suffers multiple rib fractures, according to the doctors.

"The entire procedure lasted less than 15 minutes and doctors described it as successful," said Corzine spokesman Anthony Coley. "The governor's condition remains critical but stable."

Doctors have said they will reassess the governor's condition after this morning's procedure to see whether they can begin to allow him to be a little more awake, and whether they can attempt to remove his breathing tube. If so, they can stop the sedation and that would allow the governor to communicate with doctors and family.

Robert Ostrum, chief of orthopedic trauma at Cooper, said after today's surgical procedure is finished, "We will then look at how he's doing and discuss perhaps some time soon after that, if he can tolerate it, taking his breathing tube out."

A ventilator blows air and oxygen down a tube placed into the mouth or nose and down the windpipe. It can do all of a patient's breathing, or just provide some assistance. Doctors typically try to get patients off a ventilator as soon as possible because they cannot talk while it's inserted, and they can sometimes develop infections, like pneumonia.

At the same time, doctors have said they do not want to remove the breathing tube too early, because of the discomfort of reinserting it should the governor still require it.

Corzine's three children; his brother, Allen; and his girlfriend, Sharon Elghanayan, all were at the hospital yesterday.

"The facilities here are wonderful. The staff here is wonderful. We're giving him the thumbs up right now, so we're really feeling good about what's happening," said the governor's daughter, Jennifer Corzine-Pisani, 36.

The governor's eldest son, Joshua Corzine, 30, said his father is responding to visitors and knew who they were.

"When you talk to him, he can recognize your voice, that's my feeling," he said. "He definitely responds when you let him know who you are."

Jeffrey, 24, Corzine's younger son, said while his father remains sedated and cannot talk, there are small body movements.

All three said they have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for their father from people all across the country.

"As a family, we thank everyone for all the cards, letters and concerns. It's been unbelievable," said Joshua Corzine. "It really helps us get through all of this."

The governor is being cared for in a private room at the end of the intensive care unit on the third floor of Cooper Hospital, which has provided private conference rooms and offices on the second floor for the governor's family. While members of the governor's staff can be seen coming and going, the only people being allowed to see the governor are members of the immediate family, officials said.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the accident continues. At the time of the incident, the governor's black Chevrolet Suburban SUV was being driven by a state trooper, heading north on the Garden State Parkway with its emergency lights flashing.

Officials have said the vehicle was not speeding as the governor was being driven from Atlantic City to the executive mansion at Drumthwacket in Princeton, where he was already late for a scheduled meeting between the Rutgers University women's basketball team and controversial radio show host Don Imus.

The driver of the red Ford pickup truck that began the chain of events leading to the accident told investigators over the weekend he had pulled to the right when he saw the flashing lights and then pulled back abruptly as his vehicle began to slip on the shoulder. The driver, identified by police as Kenneth Potts Jr. of Little Egg Harbor, has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Another truck coming up from behind swerved to avoid Potts, hitting the lead vehicle in the governor's two-car motorcade. Corzine, who was apparently not wearing a seat belt, was thrown to the back of the SUV as it spun and hit a guardrail.

A man who answered the door at the Potts' residence yesterday refused comment.

Coley, Corzine's spokesman, said the state troopers who transport the governor often use their emergency lights to create a clear path for the motorcade. David Jones, president of the State Troopers Fraternal Association, confirmed it was not uncommon for the governor's motorcade to run with flashing lights -- and it was not necessarily a confirmation the vehicle was traveling at high speed.

The governor's vehicle was apparently equipped with a so-called "event recorder," or black box, that should have provided details on the speed it was traveling just before the impact. However, State Police have not released any information from the recorder.

No outside agency is involved in the investigation. Police in Galloway Township, where the accident occurred, say they have no role in the matter. State Police maintain there is no conflict in their handling of an investigation of an accident involving a state trooper.

At a news conference to discuss the state's response to the ongoing storm yesterday afternoon, State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes declined to answer any questions regarding the governor's accident or the investigation.

Acting Gov. Richard Codey said he had no information that excessive speed played a role in the accident, but said he doubted the governor's motorcade was speeding, based on conditions at the time.

"All of this will come out when the investigation is disposed of," Codey said.


Staff writer Ian T. Shearn contributed to this report.

BrooklynRider
April 16th, 2007, 07:13 PM
This is tragic and sad. Yet, if he wore a seatbelt, he might be fine right now. I'm sorry he's hurt, but, in the end, he broke the law, deserves a ticket, and his family should be very angry with him for being so careless.

JCMAN320
April 16th, 2007, 08:16 PM
Yes but thats a mute point. Hoe about everybody focus on this man getting better and healthy so he can do his job of keeping New Jersey movign in the right direction. The man probably wishes he was dead he in so much discomfort. Let them man heal and recover then worry about the law, because as far as im concerned that is disrespectful to try and charfe him while he's injured.

Ninjahedge
April 17th, 2007, 09:09 AM
First off, it is a shame this happened.

Second, he should have worn his seatbelt. Maybe this will learn many to do that now.

Third, getting a ticket BR? Get real.

Fourth, they should get the recordes going. I would hazard a guess that the cops weren't exactly driving safely when they did the light thing. Why else would they not want to release the tapes?

Fifth, JC, the term is "moot". ;)

JCMAN320
April 17th, 2007, 12:37 PM
Thx ninja appreciate it. lol

kliq6
April 17th, 2007, 02:33 PM
Yes but thats a mute point. Hoe about everybody focus on this man getting better and healthy so he can do his job of keeping New Jersey movign in the right direction. The man probably wishes he was dead he in so much discomfort. Let them man heal and recover then worry about the law, because as far as im concerned that is disrespectful to try and charfe him while he's injured.

Thing is this Governor didnt keep NJ moving, his policies have turned the clock back on the Whitman Business incentive program, thus the steep decrease in NY firms moving people there

Ninjahedge
April 17th, 2007, 03:05 PM
What was this program, and did it allow buisnesses in NJ to avoid paying taxes on new ventures or other incentives that would not contribute to the state coffers?

I am not 100% defending him, but he seems to be trying to close the gap, and although things like incentive programs help entice companies to do more, I do not see NJ as suffering for lack of involvement or participation of industry.

kliq6
April 17th, 2007, 03:48 PM
The progran was this in a nut shell, bring atleast 100 jobs, with a average salary of 55,750 to NJ and you dont pay sales tax for 20-25 years on any business related purchase as well as 10-15 years of no employee income tax. Other incentives included free office space ( if rented in Hudson COunty) for 5 years minimum, and construction cost recouping.

Add all this togther and you have the Gold Coast of JC of today in comparsion to the Gold Coast of JC of 1990

antinimby
April 17th, 2007, 05:13 PM
Corzine's SUV going 91 mph at time of crash

N.J. governor still on ventilator as he recovers from broken bones


http://msnbcmedia1.msn.com/i/msnbc/Components/Sources/sourceAP.gif
April 17, 2007 (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18158503/)

CAMDEN, N.J. - The SUV carrying Gov. Jon S. Corzine was traveling about 91 mph moments before it crashed, Superintendent of State Police Col. Rick Fuentes 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 sport utility vehicle 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’s list of injuries was extensive: He broke his left thigh bone, a dozen ribs, collarbone and chest bone. He also fractured a vertebrae in his lower back.

He remains in critical but stable condition Tuesday and doctors were assessing when he might be ready to breathe without a ventilator.
Doctors have said he doesn’t have brain damage or paralysis, and is doing well for someone who sustained so many injuries.

© 2007 The Associated Press.

Ninjahedge
April 17th, 2007, 05:51 PM
I guess the lights were to pull him over for speeding?

:confused:

ZippyTheChimp
April 17th, 2007, 07:38 PM
Thing is this Governor didnt keep NJ moving, his policies have turned the clock back on the Whitman Business incentive program, thus the steep decrease in NY firms moving people there
Get well soon, Gov.

JCMAN320
April 17th, 2007, 07:44 PM
Nice sarcasim Zippy.

Well it hasn't affected Jersey City, they are getting ready to build more office buildings in Jersey City.

Corzine has been trying to fix the mess that former politicans left before him, and him being a former CEO of GS, hes the perfect guy for the to help balance our budget and close the gap.

Ninjahedge
April 18th, 2007, 09:09 AM
JC, he may have been sarcastically supporting Corzine.....

Oh, just on the news, he was indeed travelling 91mph, but they say that it was technically not against the law because, get this, it is 'Up to the discression of the officer to use the lights and sirens where it is needed in an emergency situation'. Or something similar.

Basically they are saying that it is totally fine for a cop to speed for whatever reason he wants. No surprise there. But also that it was somehow critical to get JC down to that press conference in order to help castrate Don Imus and support our vital basketball-education society here in NJ.. :crosseyed:

Whatever.

ZippyTheChimp
April 18th, 2007, 09:23 AM
Nothing, not speeding laws nor seatbelt regulations, should deter a politician from getting his face to a photo-op.

Ninjahedge
April 18th, 2007, 09:24 AM
Nothing, not speeding laws nor seatbelt regulations, should deter a politician from getting his face to a photo-op.

Good thing he wasn't nappy-headed... :eek:

ZippyTheChimp
April 18th, 2007, 09:32 AM
Barren-headed-pol?

injcsince81
April 18th, 2007, 09:41 AM
Nothing, not speeding laws nor seatbelt regulations, should deter a politician from getting his face to a photo-op.

He's lucky he has a face left...

I'd question a totality of his judgement on all matters and hit fitness to govern a state.

What a dumbass.

Ninjahedge
April 18th, 2007, 09:50 AM
He's lucky he has a face left...

I'd question a totality of his judgement on all matters and hit fitness to govern a state.

What a dumbass.

For not wearing a seatbelt?

No. I would not judge a mans political accumen based on something like that.

I do believe he is a dumbass for not wearing one though. Hope he enjoyed his "freedom of motion" in the car as it hit....

JCMAN320
April 18th, 2007, 05:23 PM
Im sure the man wishes he was dead. My mother fell down the stairs last may and broke her legs in 2 places and it was a long recovery that took all summer and she was and still is in a lot of pain because she must now walk with a cane. So im sure Corzine will wear his seatbelt and my mother will be more careful walking up the stairs, but thats neither here nor there. The man suffered a great trauma to the man and no one sympathiese for him but people feel they can make fun of him. Grow up.

Thx for insulting me by the way Ninja real grown up action. I just hope no one goes through any such trauma and if anybody does I hope you get made fun of and see how you like it.

The man made a poor judgement and paid for it and I'm sure he regrets it and no one regrets it more than him. Also Bloomy while in JC non the less, found the time to offer his blunt opinion and being unsympathic and insulting.

Ninjahedge
April 18th, 2007, 05:34 PM
Um, JC, what the hell are you talking about?

Where was I belittling you?

The only thing I see where I was not agreeing with you was when I was trying to get you to ease up on Zippy.

Did Zip say he supported Whitman? I did not read it that way, nor did I read it that he was really supporting Corzine either, but there is no sense in getting angry over it.

What was I making fun of? The fact that he did not wear a seatbelt? I still stand behind that. You are traveling in a car at 91 MPH down the highway and you are not wearing a belt for what reason?

My grandparents always said they felt "restricted" and wanted their "freedom of movement" in the car. Most non-belt wearers will say something similar, usually coupled with something about "not being told what to do". These are very illogical and downright childish complaints about a safety feature that does save lives and pain.

The man may be smart about some things, but he was, undeniably, stupid for not wearing his safety-belt.


PS, I reiterate, this does not mean that he is less suited for Gubinatorial duties. It just means that he lacks some sense in some areas.

ZippyTheChimp
April 18th, 2007, 07:34 PM
ISo im sure Corzine will wear his seatbeltI don't care about the seatbelt. If he wants to kiss the windshield, that's his business.

I'm talking about 91 in a 65. What if his SUV caused a big accident, and someone else would up in the hospital?

He's going to recover; that's as far as my sympathy goes. The fact that he's the governor allows him nothing special - except that the chief executive of New Jersey broke a state law. Two of them.

lofter1
April 18th, 2007, 08:29 PM
Technically Corzine only broke the seat-belt law ...

It would be his driver who broke the speed limit.

Then again, if Corzine ordered his driver to hit the gas ...

ZippyTheChimp
April 19th, 2007, 07:20 AM
April 19, 2007

For Governors, a Temptation to Go Faster

By DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI and RONALD SMOTHERS

TRENTON, April 18 — There is always another hand to shake, delaying departures. Constituents or colleagues waiting at the next stop to have their photos taken or questions answered. Too many meetings squeezed into too few hours.

So despite guidelines reserving flashing lights and high speed for emergencies, former governors and others who frequently rode in their motorcades said it was hardly unusual in this state of 2,835 highway miles for them to race as fast as 91 miles per hour, as Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s sport utility vehicle was doing en route to a meeting Thursday night when it had a devastating crash.

“It happened all the time,” recalled Pete McDonough, who traveled frequently with Gov. Christie Whitman as her press secretary for six years. “How fast? I don’t know, but it was always faster than the pace of traffic.” With enormous pressure to stay on schedule competing with “that guy at the Elks Club who wants you to stop for 30 minutes that turns into 45 minutes,” Mr. McDonough said, speeding with the governor’s entourage was “just part of the culture.”

Former Gov. Thomas H. Kean said that the troopers who drove him were so eager to please that he had to be careful not to inadvertently spur them on. “Never make the mistake of telling them ‘I’m late, hurry up,’ ” he warned. “I did that once, and I remember seeing it hover around 80 miles per hour and then telling them to slow down.”

Though the state police superintendent, Col. Joseph R. Fuentes, originally said speed was not a factor in the accident that broke more than a dozen bones in Mr. Corzine’s body, it now seems clear that the S.U.V.’s speed and its use of emergency lights startled other drivers and were significant factors in causing the crash and in its severity. Mr. Fuentes has asked an independent panel to review the accident to determine whether the trooper who was driving, Robert J. Rasinski, should face disciplinary action or a traffic citation, and whether the state police’s executive protection unit should adjust its training.

Mr. Rasinski, who has been the driver in four previous accidents — two while on duty — has told colleagues that as the governor’s vehicle spun off the road, where it slammed into a guardrail, he tried to steer it to shield Mr. Corzine from the impact.

“He told me that he thought he was going to die,” David Jones, head of the state troopers’ union, said of Mr. Rasinski.

Because drivers in the executive protection unit are responsible for both transporting and safeguarding the governor, they receive training from the United States Secret Service; but unlike Secret Service agents, who routinely close roads along the route of a presidential motorcade, the governor’s drivers often find themselves navigating through traffic on New Jersey’s notoriously clogged highways.

Colonel Fuentes said troopers are required to travel the speed limit and obey all traffic laws, except in an emergency, but are also instructed not to leave the governor “bogged down” in traffic, where he could be vulnerable to an attack, and are given the discretion to speed or use flashing lights to escape jams.

Capt. Al Della Fave, a spokesman for the state police, said security concerns prevented him from disclosing how many troopers are assigned to the protection unit and discussing its training and procedures, saying the manual is so confidential that even he has not seen it.

But traffic safety advocates said it is incomprehensible that New Jersey, a state with 10 pages of regulations outlining when police may use their cars to chase fleeing criminals, would allow troopers to routinely flout the law to keep the governor from falling behind schedule. Current and former elected officials with their own motorcades also said they were surprised both by the leeway given to Mr. Corzine’s chauffeurs and by the governor’s decision not to wear a seat belt.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York said that on Wednesday morning he put up a sign in the back of his city car that reads “Please fasten your seat belt.” Mr. Bloomberg said that he had forbidden the police detectives who drive him to use lights and sirens without asking him, and that he rarely allowed it.

“I don’t think an elected official that wants to get to someplace for a photo op is appropriate,” he said. “When I go to visit a fire or watch a fire I’ve certainly not had lights and sirens. I’m not a firefighter. I can’t put out the fire.”

But Mr. Jones, president of the New Jersey State Troopers Fraternal Association, brushed aside criticism of the state’s policy, saying that it until last week it had functioned effectively since 1921.

He said it was essential for the governor’s drivers to speed and use emergency lights to create a buffer zone between Mr. Corzine’s vehicle and other cars.

“You can’t allow yourself to be boxed in, paralleled or overtaken,” Mr. Jones said. “That’s Executive Protection 101.”

Mr. Rasinski, 34, who has been among Mr. Corzine’s drivers for the past year, has told state police investigators that the governor never instructed him to speed, according to a report released on Wednesday. Heavy rain forced Mr. Corzine to scrub plans to use a helicopter on Thursday as he raced from a 10 a.m. funeral in Pottstown, Pa., for a slain F.B.I. agent, to a noon appearance 120 miles northeast in Hackensack, N.J., then 130 miles south to Atlantic City for events at 2 and 2:45, before returning 90 miles northwest to Drumthwacket, the governor’s mansion in Princeton.

The accident happened on the Garden State Parkway, five miles north of the Atlantic City Expressway, about 6:15 p.m., as Mr. Corzine’s two-car caravan was trying to get to the Drumthwacket meeting between the Rutgers women’s basketball team and Don Imus, the talk-radio host who had made a racist and sexist comment about the players on the air.

Mr. Corzine remained in critical but stable condition at Cooper University Hospital in Camden on Wednesday, relying on a ventilator for the sixth full day. He broke his thigh bone, collar bone, sternum, a vertebra and 11 ribs in the crash and is heavily sedated. Dr. Steven E. Ross, Cooper’s head of trauma, said that on Wednesday doctors inserted two catheters into Mr. Corzine’s back to deliver pain medication more directly to his ribs in the hopes of removing the breathing tube within a few days.

“But it could be longer,” Dr. Ross warned.

Dr. Michael E. Goldberg, chief of the anesthesiology department at Cooper, said the catheters would deliver Bupivacaine, a local anesthetic, and that they were inserted far enough from his spine to avoid risking nerve damage from internal bleeding, a serious concern because Mr. Corzine is on blood thinners. He said the anesthetic would not affect Mr. Corzine’s brain, adding, “It won’t impair his breathing, only the pain.” The catheters are likely to remain for at least five days.

Dr. Ross said that while Mr. Corzine still could not speak because of the breathing tube in his mouth, he “understands several things about his care” and can move his hands and feet when asked.

“He’s doing far better than any of us would have expected,” Dr. Ross said. “He’s just in a lot of pain.”

State police records show that Trooper Rasinski has never been ticketed, despite his four previous car accidents. In 2004, he was parked and operating a radar gun in Newark when a tractor-trailer hit his vehicle. The year before, he was behind the wheel of a state police car that slid on icy pavement and hit a guardrail; the accident caused no injuries, but a state police review found that it could have been prevented.

New Jersey’s attorney general, Stuart Rabner, is now reviewing the crash involving Mr. Corzine and the executive protection unit’s procedures. In interviews Wednesday, several former governors suggested that the state avoid putting troopers in a difficult position by allowing more use of helicopters.

Former Gov. Jim Florio, who ran the state from 1990 to 1994, said that he occasionally relied on the state helicopter when his schedule was hectic, but was criticized for that practice by Mrs. Whitman in her successful campaign to unseat him.

“The governor is the C.E.O. of a $33-billion-a-year enterprise, and it is silly to utilize his time traveling by car,” Mr. Florio said. “I know it sounds undemocratic, but the use of the governor’s time cries out for more efficiency. The roads are getting more clogged.”

Brendan T. Byrne, who was governor from 1974 to 1982, said the flights also had the benefit of being “a crowd pleaser,” recalling that “people remember my landing in the town square, and there was a kind of pageantry about it.”

But Mrs. Whitman said there was value in a governor experiencing the same traffic headaches as constituents.

“It’s what people of the state face every day,” she said, “and the governor should face that also.”

Reporting was contributed by Ken Belson and Diane Cardwell from New York, Danny Hakim from Albany, and Nate Schweber from Camden, N.J.

Interactive Graphic (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/13/nyregion/20070413_CORZINE_GRAPHIC.html)


Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

OmegaNYC
April 21st, 2007, 12:23 PM
^^^ That still dosn't give the Gov. the right to fly like a bat-out-of-hell on the Parkway. This "culture" needs to stop.

injcsince81
April 21st, 2007, 01:45 PM
Technically Corzine only broke the seat-belt law ...
...

He also broke a couple of other things...

You HAVE to be a moron going 91 mph in a front passenger seat without a seat belt on.

Again, I question totality of his judgements, on pretty much any topic, from now on.

pianoman11686
April 23rd, 2007, 04:02 PM
Judge not a man by a single fault, but by his entire life.

Being a frequent user of the Parkway when I'm home, I can say with confidence that the average "flow of traffic" speed is about 80 MPH. I usually go this speed, and always find people in the left lanes doing closer to 90. Going 91 is not something that should be condemned like it's a mortal sin.

Ninjahedge
April 23rd, 2007, 04:44 PM
Judge not a man by a single fault, but by his entire life.

Being a frequent user of the Parkway when I'm home, I can say with confidence that the average "flow of traffic" speed is about 80 MPH. I usually go this speed, and always find people in the left lanes doing closer to 90. Going 91 is not something that should be condemned like it's a mortal sin.

Um, except for a few key facts:

1. If a cop actually tags you going more than 15 MPH over the speed limit, they will pull you over.
2. These were law officials who were not on an emergency call. They should not be allowed carte blanche to go zipping around the highway for no other reason than the fact that they want to get there quicker.
3. The Govenor was stupid for riding in a vehicle on the highway w/o a seatbelt. Even in an SUV, 91 starts to look fast.

Cardinal sin? No. I don't think anyone said so. I think most of us rolled our eyes though.

"Cops speeding? Yeah, no surprise there :rolleyes: "

pianoman11686
April 23rd, 2007, 06:20 PM
1. If a cop actually tags you going more than 15 MPH over the speed limit, they will pull you over.

True, but not if you're doing 80 in a 65 in the right lane, with people still consistently passing you on the left. Face it, the GSP has a very high "moving with traffic" speed.


2. These were law officials who were not on an emergency call. They should not be allowed carte blanche to go zipping around the highway for no other reason than the fact that they want to get there quicker.

Never said they should've been given carte blanche. But then there was that time in Boston when a catcher was escorted from Logan Airport to the Red Sox game at ~100 MPH...


3. The Govenor was stupid for riding in a vehicle on the highway w/o a seatbelt. Even in an SUV, 91 starts to look fast.

Cardinal sin? No. I don't think anyone said so. I think most of us rolled our eyes though.

Once again Ninja, you step into a conversation and attempt to cross-apply what I said to everyone else in the thread. My comment was directed at the post preceding mine, and anyone else who thinks that one incident like this automatically invalidates any judgments that Corzine makes in the future.

Ninjahedge
April 23rd, 2007, 06:29 PM
The impression that I got from the people here was that noone really thought that his shortsightedness of not wearing a seatbelt while riding to a PR op would really reflect on his job as Governor.....


Although there must of been a short circuit (maybe a "safety valve"?) and I skipped the idiotic statement that injc made about not trusting him as Governor because he was speeding.....

;)


PS, sorry injc, your comment was rather short sighted and reactionary. Seatbelts are smart, but lack of use does not disqualify one from any other rational thought or decision....

lofter1
April 23rd, 2007, 06:42 PM
A new twist ...

Cop who e-mailed Corzine's driver
hopes he didn't cause wreck

April 22, 2007
Newsday.com (http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newjersey/ny-bc-nj--corzinecrash-e-ma0422apr22,0,715215.story?coll=ny-region-apnewjersey)

NEWARK, N.J. -- A Berkeley Heights police officer who was angrily e-mailing the state trooper driving Governor Corzine's SUV shortly before it crashed said he hopes the messages meant to confront the man having an affair with his wife didn't cause the wreck.

State police investigators are trying to find out if one of Detective-Sgt. Michael Mathis' messages was seen by trooper Robert Rasinski just before the crash, possibly through the use of a BlackBerry, and if it had an effect on Rasinski's state of mind.

Mathis posted messages in The Star-Ledger of Newark's Web forum saying that he sent Rasinki an e-mail with a photo of himself, his wife and their children just minutes before the April 12 crash occurred, the newspaper reported in its Sunday editions.

"I hope it didn't cause the crash," Mathis wrote in the forum, "but no man in his right mind could have been thinking clearly with the affair exposed."

Mathis confirmed to the newspaper that he had posted the comments.

When contacted by telephone Sunday by the Associated Press, Mathis declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Corzine remained in critical but stable condition Sunday at Camden's Cooper University Hospital and began a regular diet for the first time since the accident, according to Dr. Steven Ross.

Ross also said Corzine's signs of tracheo-bronchitis were being treated with antibiotics.

"He continues to improve and the doctors are pleased with his progress," Ross said.

Mathis, 40, also wrote in the forums that he first contacted Rasinski on April 10 in a phone call and over the next two days exchanged text messages with the trooper. He told the newspaper that he learned a month ago that his wife, 36-year-old Susan Mathis, was carrying on a 2 1/2 year tryst with Rasinski.

State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes confirmed late Friday that investigators are looking into an unspecified "allegation" against the trooper.

David Jones, president of the State Troopers Fraternal Association, denied that Rasinski had a BlackBerry at the time of the crash.

"There wasn't any distraction," Jones told the newspaper. "They (the investigators) asked all of these questions in a taped interview. That's part of the standard protocols."

"There's absolutely no merit to this allegation," he said. "There's nothing here other than an understandably aggrieved, soon-to-be ex-husband putting something forward that is totally without merit, and it's a sin."

Copyright 2007 Newsday Inc.

Ninjahedge
April 24th, 2007, 09:18 AM
This is cheap.

Using the crash to "expose" the affair to a national audience?

Would anyone else have known about this if they did not crash? If he felt sorry about it, he should have kept quiet. He is just using the spotlight for his own means, regardless of how right or wrong the other guy was that is kind of cheap.