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.”