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Her name was Florence Genova and she is the woman who died on September 9 at the time of the traffic snafu in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Her family says that the traffic problems that day did not contribute to her death, and do not want to become part of a political scandal. I would not write a diary about this except for the fact that I have seen comments made in other diaries about how a 91-year-old woman died. I think it is important to respect the family's wishes and not continue using that talking point.

FORT LEE, N.J. — The daughter of a 91-year-old woman from Fort Lee, N.J., who died on the day of a major traffic jam precipitated by top aides to Gov. Chris Christie said on Thursday that she did not believe the inability of an ambulance to reach her mother’s house was a factor in her death.

“I honestly believe it was just her time,” said Vilma Oleri, whose mother, Florence Genova, died on the morning of Sept. 9, the first day that the closing of local lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge set off the snarls.


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

Ms. Oleri said she had no idea until Wednesday that her mother’s death had become a source of controversy.

“We want to stay out of it,” Ms. Oleri said. “It’s not political.”

Woman Says Lane Closings Were Not to Blame for Her Mother’s Death

The fact that the ill-conceived lane closures could have caused fatalities is a valid point that should continue to be made, but we should not use this woman or her family to make that point. Her family does not believe that if the ambulance had arrived three minutes earlier that she would have survived. The above-linked article in The New York Times, paints a portrait of a beautiful woman. We should let her rest in peace.

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