The Corner

Woman Says Bridge Closure Not to Blame in 91-Year-Old Mother’s Death

The daughter of the 91-year-old woman who died as first responders were delayed due to traffic on the George Washington Bridge said the lane closures were not responsible for her death.

“I honestly believe it was just her time,” Vilma Oleri told the New York Times on Thursday of her mother, Florence Genova.

Oleri’s husband, Frank, added that “traffic didn’t make any difference” in Genova’s death. “We believe she died in her home, but they couldn’t pronounce her until she got to the hospital,” he said.

At the time of the closures, the Fort Lee EMS coordinator said that traffic delayed services, preventing paramedics from reaching emergency scenes in their usual times, but that the response time to Genova was shortened because ambulances were already dispatched on their way to a traffic accident. Responders tried to revive her, but she was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Oleri added that her and her family “want to stay out” of the controversy surrounding the bridge’s closure, and not to make her mother’s death political. She did note that her mother supported Chris Christie in his first bid for the governorship, but did not vote in last year’s election owing to issues with her memory.

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