A driver who police believe was wearing an N95 mask for “several hours” passed out Thursday while driving his car in Lincoln Park and crashed into a pole, according to a Facebook post from the borough police department.
The driver, who was not severely injured, was the only person in car and passed out due to “insufficient oxygen intake/excessive carbon dioxide intake,” police said.
“Motorists and the public alike are reminded that while masks should be used in public settings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, they are not necessary outdoors when social distancing can be maintained, and especially not necessary when driving a vehicle with no additional occupants,” the department said in the post.
Authorities said they have not ruled out another medical reason as a contributing cause to the crash, but said they did not find any evidence that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“As it relates to this specific incident, we reiterate that police officers are not physicians and do not know the medical history of every person we encounter,” police said in an updated post.
“It was stated in the original post that we ‘believed’ the excessive wearing of an N95 mask was a contributing factor to this accident. While we don’t know this with 100% certainty, we do know that the driver had been wearing an N95 mask inside the vehicle for several hours and ultimately passed out while operating the vehicle.”