Injuries leave future uncertain for N.J. governor and his state

first_imgDoctors and state officials did not mince words in discussing Corzine’s situation after a crash that appears to have been much worse than initially reported, with the unbelted Corzine jettisoned from the front passenger seat into the back from the impact. Both Robert Rasinski, the state trooper driving the car, and Samantha Gordon, the aide in the back seat, had apparently been wearing their seat belts. Rasinski left the hospital at 5:15 p.m. Friday. Gordon was sore but otherwise uninjured. “I feel blessed and so is he,” Gordon, a personal assistant to the governor, said as she stopped to buy magazines in the gift shop during her day-long vigil at the hospital. The incident comes at a critical juncture for Corzine, 60, a liberal Democrat in his first term who has yet to gain real traction with the public or fellow politicians around the state. He faces a $2 billion deficit to plug by summer, a growing crisis over the state’s pension system, and spiraling questions over financial gifts he gave a former girlfriend who runs the largest union of state workers. The crash occurred about 6:15 p.m. Thursday in the northbound lanes of the Garden State Parkway, about six miles north of the Atlantic City Expressway. The governor’s Chevrolet Suburban swerved to avoid a Dodge Ram truck that had, in turn, turned to avoid a red pickup that the police described as driving erratically. The Suburban slid into the end of a guardrail, which “penetrated the vehicle, and struck both Rasinski and Governor Corzine,” according to a one-page police report recounting the accident. Corzine’s left thigh, or femur, bone, was fractured, and it punched two holes through his skin. He lost about half of the blood in his body, requiring seven units during surgery Thursday night, and broke six ribs on each side, along with his sternum, collarbone and a lower vertebra.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TRENTON, N.J. – Relying on a ventilator to help him breathe, Gov. Jon S. Corzine remained in intensive care at a Camden hospital on Friday. Meanwhile, his children and colleagues wrestled with medical and political uncertainties after a devastating car accident in which Corzine was by all accounts not wearing a seat belt. On the surface, at least, state officials vowed that the business of New Jersey would continue uninterrupted. At a news conference on Friday afternoon in the State House, state Senate President Richard J. Codey, who became acting governor Thursday night, appeared with Corzine’s chief of staff, Tom Shea, and said, “It’s their administration, not mine.” But medical experts cautioned that Corzine still faced considerable hurdles and even life-threatening complications in the days ahead, including the possibility of pneumonia and infection. He remains heavily sedated and will undergo more operations, one on Saturday and another on Monday. last_img

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