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.
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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.