Police: Driver wearing N95 mask passed out, crashed

National News

LINCOLN PARK, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey police department says what officials called “excessive” wearing of a medical mask is believed to have been a factor in a single-car crash after the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle passed out behind the wheel.

The Lincoln Park police department said in a Facebook post that the driver had been wearing the N95 medical mask for several hours. Police said the driver apparently passed out behind the wheel “due to insufficient oxygen intake/excessive carbon dioxide intake.” No other details about the accident or driver were provided.

Officials said that while masks should be used in public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, they aren’t necessary outdoors if social distancing can be maintained and are “especially not necessary when driving a vehicle with no additional occupants.”

Police said in an update that it was possible that some other medical reason could have contributed to the driver passing out, but there were no signs of drug or alcohol use. They said they weren’t suggesting that wearing an N95 mask was unsafe but in most cases it was unnecessary while operating a vehicle with no other occupants.

Police aren’t doctors and don’t know the medical history of everyone they encounter but “conduct accident scene investigations using training, experience and observations at the scene to determine a cause,” the department said.

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