Philadelphia Inquirer

Nurse Tries to Save Her Daughter, a Young Mother, After South Jersey Hit-&-Run

A South Jersey nurse tried in vain to save her own daughter after a hit-and-run crash over the weekend.

The scene played out in Pilesgrove, Salem County around 11:30 p.m. Friday, according to New Jersey State Police.

Police said two vehicles struck Chelsea Burns, of Woodstown, as the 25-year-old walked along Alloway-Woodstown Road near East Lake Road.

Chelsea, the mother of a 3-year-old boy, earlier in the night demanded her boyfriend let her out of the car after the two got into an argument, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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The boyfriend drove off, but later called Chelsea’s mother Cathy to ask her to help him find Chelsea. According to her family, Chelsea, a waitress at a local pizza place, had a history of seizures. The argument stemmed from the boyfriend wanting to take her home after she suffered a minor seizure and Chelsea wanting to stay out, the family said.

As the unidentified boyfriend and Cathy Burns searched, they came upon stopped vehicles in the roadway. That's when they found Chelsea on the ground.

"I ran up to her," said Cathy, who is a registered nurse at the Inspira Health Network. "As I ran up to her I could hear a man crying, saying the Mustang in front of him never stopped and it just kept going like she wasn't even there."

Cathy used her nursing skills to administer CPR but it was too late -- Chelsea was already lifeless.

"I did everything I could," Cathy said while in tears. "There is no one who could have done CPR any harder or better than I did that night. But nothing." 

Police said that the first car that struck Chelsea killed her. Police tracked down and spoke to the second driver who has remained cooperative in the investigation and will not be charged. Investigators told NBC10 they don't have a make and model for the hit-and-run vehicle.

Cathy told NBC10 based on witness reports, she believes the vehicle was a Mustang. She also had a message for the person responsible for her daughter's death.

"You need to confess or you're going to have guilt for the rest of your life," she said. "I understand if you didn't see her and you hit her. We all make mistakes. But you just don't leave someone dead on the road."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (856) 769-0775.

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