Chris Christie Says He Was 'Blindsided' By Traffic Scandal
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says he knew nothing about his staffers closing lanes of the busiest bridge in America in retaliation for the mayor of Fort Lee not supporting Christie's re-election. INSIDE EDITION reports.
Embattled Chris Christie apologizes at a dramatic press conference about the explosive scandal that could derail his presidential campaign.
Chris Christie told reporters, "I am heartbroken. I am embarrassed and humiliated. I'm just stunned."
Christie continued, "What was I thinking last night when I couldn't go to sleep? How did it happen?"
Now, we're learning more about the ordinary citizens who suffered when the governor's staff shut down access lanes to the George Washington Bridge—the busiest bridge in America—last September.
Four emergency 911 calls that received delayed due to the heavy traffic from the lane closures, according to the Office of Emergency Medical Services.
One of the 911 calls came from a home in Fort Lee, New Jersey. A 91-year-old woman suffered a heart attack. Emergency officials say the response time was delayed because of the bridge lane closures. Ninety-one-year-old Florence Genoba was pronounced dead at the hospital.
CNN's Ashley Banfield said, "An extraodinarily serious end of this could be felony murder because it is a felony to do this kind of thing, if it can be proven, to shut down those lanes for no good reason."
The deceased was a widow with two children.
Chris Christie was asked about the woman's death when he faced a sea of TV cameras Wednesday for almost two hours in Trenton, New Jersey.
"It's awful. I've also seen conflicting reports about what the cause of death was or whatever, but it doesn't matter. It's awful to hear," said Christie.
Another 911 call was made after a construction worker suffered chest pains at the motel where he was staying.
The hotel manager told INSIDE EDITION, "Usually the ambulance takes about five minutes because we're so close by. But they took longer than usual."
Now, the big question—how will the scandal affect Chris Christie's political future.
Andrew Sullivan said on CNN, "It's over."
"Fat Chance Now, Chris," blares the front page of the New York Daily News. Inside, an editorial says, "Christie built a top staff of lying thugs who threatened lives and safety to serve his political ends."
INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent was at the big press conference, reporting that it was a lengthy Q&A even by the standards of Chris Christie. But political observers say that's for good reason. They say this was the most important press conference of his political career.
Columnist Charles Stile told Trent, "This is a huge embarrassment and he had no choice but to be contrite."
In the press conference, Christie proclaimed, "I had no knowledge or involvement in this issue, in its planning or its execution. And I am stunned by the abject stupidity that was shown here."
So who is to blame? Christie says it's his Deputy Chief of Staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, whom he fired this morning.
"I terminated her employment because she lied to me," Christie stated.
Forty-one-year-old Kelly has four children. She's accused of plotting to wreak havoc on Fort Lee, New Jersey, because the mayor refused to endorse Christie in his reelection bid.
"Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," Kelly wrote on August 13th.
"Got it," replied David Wildstein, a top Christie ally.
Wildstein took the fifth when he testified in a hearing on the lane closures today, stating, "On advice of counsel, I reserve my right to remain silent."
Now, the almost impossible to believe scandal is making the citizens who were caught in the traffic jam furious.
One resident told INSIDE EDITION, "It affected the kids going back to school. It affected us getting to our jobs. It was terrible."
Another resident said, "My neighbor's children were on the school bus two-and-half hours."
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