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GWB Scandal Traffic Not to Blame for Mother's Death, Woman Says

Daughter says slow response time did not cause 91-year-old mother's death.

Emergency responders delayed by the controversial lane closures near the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee late last year were not to blame for the death of a 91-year-old woman, according to her daughter. 

Vilma Oleri, whose mother Florence Genova died the first morning of the Bridgegate lane closures, told The New York Times that despite the slowed response time it was “was just her [mother’s] time.”

Oleri said that while Fort Lee emergency responders tried and failed to revive her mother before the 91-year-old was later pronounced dead at Englewood Hospital, she wanted to stay above the fray.

“We want to stay out of it,” Oleri told the Times. “It’s not political.” 

The lane closures delayed the response of medical personnel to four incidents, according to reports earlier this week.

Response times doubled for at least two of the four instances on Sept. 9 and 10—the first two days of the unannounced lane closures—in Fort Lee, according to a letter from EMS Coordinator Paul Favia to Mayor Mayor Mark Sokolich that was obtained by The Record.

Favia did not say the woman's death was directly caused by the lane closures, but noted "paramedics were delayed due to heavy traffic on Fort Lee Road and had to meet the ambulance en-route to the hospital instead of on the scene," according to The Record.

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