On July 26, 2002 Christie was driving a leased BMW in the city of Elizabeth.
He was on his way to a swearing in ceremony for the Union County Prosecutor. But Christie apparently got a little lost. When he got to the intersection of Murray street and Clinton, he edged out and made a partial right turn the wrong way on a one way street.
Enter Andre Mendonca. The motorcyclist was riding down Clinton street ( the right way ) and when he saw Christie in the intersection, the bike fell on its side and slid into Christie’s car, according to the accident report filed by the officer on the scene.
Mendonca was injured and taken by ambulance to the hospital. Not nearby Trinitas, but UMDNJ in Newark which has a trauma center. Reached by telephone this morning, Mendonca said he had no idea his collision was with the man who is now the Republican candidate for Governor. When I started to ask him questions about the accident, he said he “shouldn’t be talking about it.” Mendonca did say that Christie seemed very concerned for his well being and blamed bad signage at the intersection for what happened. Then he hung up on me.
Christie identified himself as the US Attorney to the officer who did not issue Christie a ticket. One Elizabeth official said that the officer then drove Christie to the swearing in ceremony.
News of this accident comes on the heels of an earlier story about Christie being pulled over for speeding in Lambertville ( see earlier posts ).
We asked Christie about the accident in Atlantic City Friday and he was very curt with his answers. NJN South Jersey Bureau Chief Kent St. John asked if there was a lawsuit. Christie said “no” then “nope.”
But actually there was. According to the Superior Court Record Center in Trenton, Mendonca filed suit in 2004. The complaint filed in Essex County was later dismissed, indicating ( according to the Clerk ) an out of court settlement.