Though the superintendent of the State Police, Rick Fuentes, insisted for days that speed was not a contributing factor, and that a witness had come forward testifying that the vehicle was going at the posted speed limit (65 mph) at the time, a black box in the Chevy Suburban SUV the Governor was riding in at the time recorded the vehicle's speed at 91 mph just a few seconds before the crash. Corzine's injuries were exacerbated by the fact that he was not wearing a seat belt at the time, and he suffered a considerable number of fractures, including 11 ribs, a fractured sternum, a fractured collar bone, a fracture to one vertebra, and a compound fracture of his left femur.
Today, just before getting in the new vehicle for the drive back to Drumthwacket from Cooper, the Times reported a few remarks the Governor made, including the following,
“I set a very bad example,” said a contrite Mr. Corzine, who broke his left femur, his sternum and 11 ribs in the accident, speaking from a wheelchair just outside Cooper University Hospital in Camden. His voice breaking with emotion, he added: “I hope the state will forgive me. I will work very hard to set the right kind of example.”
The New York Times then reported that,
After the brief comments, Mr. Corzine was helped into a black GMC Savana van, with tinted windows, that he bought and had specially modified for his wheelchair, and left the hospital in a six-car caravan about 1:45 p.m. His vehicle followed a black state police Crown Victoria, and was followed by a Chevrolet Suburban — like the one he was riding in at the time of the crash — a Mercedes station wagon, and two other cars. The motorcade did not use emergency lights, as it had been just before the accident.
The governor’s motorcade moved with the flow of traffic on Interstate 295, at some points sustaining speeds up to 70 miles per hour several minutes at a time, according to the speedometer of a vehicle traveling alongside; posted limits were 55 and 65. Capt. Al Della Fave, a state police spokesman, said the commander of the executive protection unit, which provides security and drivers for the governor, told him on Monday that the troopers in the motorcade had been instructed to adhere to posted speed limits. He declined to identify the driver of the governor’s van or to make any of the drivers of the motorcade available for an interview.
Politicsnj, a political website posting and reporting a wide array of state political stories, had the Times article prominently linked on their website by a little after half past four in the afternoon.
By tomorrow, every paper in the state will carry the story, and it will likely continue as a prime topic on talk radio at NJ 101.5.