Review finds GW bridge scandal didn't cost lives

A review by The Associated Press turned up no evidence bridge lane closures last year that have embroiled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R-N.J.) administration contributed to the death of any person or resulted in poor medical help. 

The newswire obtained 911 records for all calls in a five-mile radius of the lane closures in Fort Lee, N.J.

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There were, however, reports of a number of emergencies during that time, including reports of chest pains, car accidents and fire alarms. And emergency personnel consistently turn up in 911 records complaining of the snarled traffic. 

In a letter last September, the EMS director of Fort Lee, Paul Favia, complained to the mayor of minor delays reaching a 91-year-old woman who later died after being found unconscious in her home. 

However, the family did not blame the delay for the death. That letter had been previously reported, and the woman’s daughter said medics weren't at fault. 

“I honestly believe it was just her time,” Vilma Oleri told The New York Times in January. She is the daughter of Florence Genova, the woman who died. 

In another instance a 45-year-old man complained of chest pains shortly after first responders reported “total gridlock” in the area. 

The AP could not subsequently track down the man, but it noted there were no further 911 calls raising concern of his situation escalating. 

Christie’s poll numbers have sunk after a staffer in his administration was found to have had a hand in the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge last year, which is alleged to have been political retribution on the Fort Lee mayor who did not endorse the governor’s reelection campaign. 

Christie has fired his deputy chief of staff and said he had no prior knowledge of the closure. His staff is conducting an internal review, while the state legislature and the U.S. attorney are also investigating.

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