Video shows woman with epilepsy speeding before car plunged into river
A video captured Devorah Stubin's fateful, high-speed drive through a dark parking lot, leading her down an embankment and into the Passaic River — where her body and the car were later recovered.
Wallington Police viewed surveillance video showing Stubin's Mitsubushi Gallant going "extremely fast" through the parking lot of the Wallington Exchange Restaurant and hitting a guardrail, which flipped her car onto its roof, according to NorthJersey.com. The video has not been released by police.
Stubin, 22, of Passaic was reported missing on Thursday and her car was found at the bottom of an embankment behind a funeral home on Saturday.
Stubin suffered from partial complex seizure disorder, a form of epilepsy. But police told the news organization an autopsy was not conducted on Stubin's body, and the exact cause of death may never be known.
An Orthodox Jew, Stubin was buried on Sunday in Clifton.
The close-knit New Jersey Orthodox Jewish community continues to mourn Stubin's death. Rabbi Abe Friedman, who serves as chaplain for several New Jersey law enforcement agencies and helped with the search for Stubin, told New Jersey 101.5 her family is sitting Shiva for the next seven days.
He said Stubin had just graduated school and starting a new job. But she suffered with multiple health concerns — being diagnosed as bi-polar and suffering from anxiety, in addition to her seizure disorder.
According to the Epilepsy Foundation, a person suffering from a complex partial seizure may appear to be daydreaming. Such seizures can wipe out memories of events just prior, and can cause a person to lose awareness and stare blankly. A person suffering a from a seizure may move his or her mouth, pick the air or clothing, or perform other mindless activities.
In some cases, people may repeat words or phrases, laugh, scream, or cry, according to the foundation.
“Some people do things during these seizures that can be dangerous or embarrassing, such as walking into traffic or taking their clothes off,” the foundation writes.
"She was a very, very good girl, always with a smile. She was very strong, always lending a hand," Friedman said.
Friedman said a Maywood police officer stopped Stubin on Thursday night for not having her headlights on. Studbin told the officer she was lost and he followed her to Summit Avenue in Hackensack.
"We're extremely thankful to law enforcement for their sensitivity" and work trying to locate Stubin.
Friedman said that some in the Orthodox community blame the darkness of the area near the river for contributing to the incident.
"If you go there at night there's no lighting, no reflectors and any person can easily get into the river," he said
Feidman said "people were absolutely stunned at how easy it is at night with no light if your don't know the area. You can easily get lost."
Stubin's death is "a great loss for the family and the community and the neighbors and everyone that knew her," Friedman said.