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'We Just Want Our Daughter to Wake Up,' Mom Says

21-year-old East Hanover resident remains in coma after head-on crash on Berkshire Valley Road.

It’s been two weeks since a head-on crash on Berkshire Valley Road critically injured a 21-year-old East Hanover resident.

Andrea Fornelos still hasn't woken up since the morning of Sept. 27 when her Volkswagon Golf crossed the double-yellow line and crashed head-on into a Sierra GMC pickup truck, police said.

Fornelos' mother, Angelina, said she feels confused and unsure of what happened at the accident site. And she said she needs that information to help the doctors with her daughter’s care.

“The one thing I really need to know is how long Andrea was without oxygen before they got her breathing again,” Fornelos said. “I need to let the doctors know this. It’s important for her care.”

Fornelos also doesn’t understand why two summonses for her daughter were mailed to her home, even while her daughter is in the hospital, fighting for her life.

“She got two tickets, one for not wearing a seat belt and one for crossing over the double-yellow line,” Fornelos said. “I can’t understand this. The police say they have no witnesses but they know that she did this? How do they know this?"

Fornelos said she called Jefferson Township Police Det. Stephen Muller, who told her that tickets are generated through a computer system.

“I just don’t understand how they immediately think Andrea was at fault, when there are no witnesses that have come forward. Everything we’ve seen has Andrea at fault, but how can they know that,” Fornelos said.

Jefferson Township Police Capt. Eric Wilsusen explained that accident reports are made based on factors, including position of the vehicles and statements from those in other cars involved.

Those in the other vehicle involved in the crash were Erika Bath, 16, of Newton, who was driving with a learner's permit, and her father, Richard Gannon, 53, of Wantage.

“At the time the accident first happened, we didn’t think Ms. Fornelos’ injuries were as serious as they turned out to be,” Wilsusen said. “We learned much later that they were serious.

“We are continuing our investigation, and still trying to find witnesses to the accident. Even though the family isn’t happy with the outcome, our investigation stands for now. If witnesses come forward and provide new information, we could possibly alter our conclusion.”

In the meantime, Angelina Fornelos said she doesn’t know what comes next.

“Right now, we’re just focusing on our daughter. We just want our daughter to wake up.”

Deb Sisco October 11, 2012 at 05:17 PM
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. I pray your daughter makes a complete recovery. May God be with her and heal her.
Jean Perrella October 11, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Your daughter s beautiful. I also will continue to pray for her recovery. Remember with god nothing is impossible. God bless you all
Christina Cunha-Moreira October 12, 2012 at 05:44 PM
There conclusion is based on what the other people the 16 year old driver and her dad said..Helllooo..of course there gonna say andrea crossed of yellow line..did they even come out of there car to see if she wad ok..expressed any concern..no they haven't..an accident they were involved in caused a young girl to be in a coma..they can't even send a get well care!!
Green eggs & spam October 13, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Perhaps they where in shock at the time of the accident? Maybe their lawyer told them not to contact the family till the air clears? Have YOU reached out to the family? No but it's great that you are so concerned about all this that you feel the need to share a Crayola Factory coupon on your Facebook page.
amanda carreiro October 13, 2012 at 01:41 PM
What i would like to know why was a 16 year old girl driving with a learners permit in a pickup truck and in the rain? Back when o was younger woth a learners permit you could not dribe any vehicle without emergancy break being in the middle of in between the seats????? Did the laws change. Also you can see from the pictures it wad not a head on crash Andrea was hit from the side where she then sustained her injuries.
barry schwartz October 15, 2012 at 04:47 PM
The law changed many years ago to allow for using cars with center consoles and center emergency brakes. Prior to that, people driving on learner's permits could only go out in vehicles without center consoles, so the experienced driver could step on the real brake. Pick-ups and cars with bench seats have always been fine. Learner's permits have limits on time of day, but I don't know of any for rain or snow.

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