A case of clerical error by New Jersey police led to a 10-hour “disappearance” of a Lakewood woman last week after a car accident left her unconscious and unable to contact family members.
The woman in question, age 62, left her home in Borough Park, Brooklyn last week at around 10 a.m., heading for a meeting in Lakewood, New Jersey.
During the drive, however, the woman was involved in a serious accident on the New Jersey Turnpike, leaving her severely injured and rendering her unconscious.
Emergency rescue teams were called to the scene some 25 minutes after the accident to extract her from the vehicle, which was so heavily damaged in the incident emergency responders had to cut the car to reach the woman.
After the accident, the woman was evacuated to the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Jersey, still listed as “Jane Doe”, her condition critical but stable.
While authorities typically identify victims who are unable to notify friends or family of their condition, using license plates or IDs carried on the individual’s person, in this case local police failed to do so for some 10 hours.
In the meantime, the woman’s family was unaware of what had transpired and grew increasingly anxious about her unexplained absence.
Calls to the woman’s cellular phone were not answered, and calls to a local hospital showed no listings for the woman in question.
Later, police were contacted to help locate the woman, and a mission persons report filed.
Finally, at around 9:00 p.m. that night, an officer arrived at the woman’s home to notify her husband of the accident and her condition.