An appeals court has ruled government officials are not responsible for the death of a woman swept away by floodwaters in New Jersey during Hurricane Irene in 2011.
The Third Circuit District Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled Celena Sylvestri was a member of the general public who wandered into danger randomly in Pilesgrove Township.
The court found Sylvestri was aware of a travel ban imposed by Salem County that directed all non-emergency vehicles to stay off the roads and the fact that New Jersey was under a state of emergency, but she still decided to drive.
The decision affirms an earlier ruling that government agencies were not at fault in Sylvestri's death. The lawsuit filed by Sylvestri's mother claimed she had drowned because officials opened floodgates.