The daughter of the 91-year-old woman who died on the same day the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge caused a massive traffic jam in Fort Lee told the New York Times that she doesn’t blame her mother’s death on the traffic.
“I honestly believe it was just her time,” Vilma Oleri told the Times about her mother, Florence Genova.
Vilma Oleri’s husband, Frank Oleri, said that Genova likely died in her home, not while stuck in traffic.
“We believe she died in her home, but they couldn’t pronounce her until she got to the hospital,” he told the Times. “The traffic didn’t make any difference.”
Vilma Oleri called 911 when her mother did not come out of the bathroom of her home. When paramedics arrived, delayed slightly by traffic, they tried unsuccessfully to revive Genova at her home and later at the hospital.
Oleri said she thought the traffic problem may have actually shortened the paramedics’ response time, as they were already en route to assist with the traffic problems when she called.
“The response time was only shortened by the fact that they were heading to the accident scene to assist when dispatched,” she said.
Oleri was unaware of the controversy surrounding her mother until Wednesday and doesn’t want her death to become political.
“We want to stay out of it,” she said. “It’s not political.”