ELMER, N.J. – A lifelong friend of the driver who hit a New Jersey State Trooper in a deadly head-on collision says he suffered severe diabetes.
“He was in the hospital for a while until they got the diabetes under control but I don’t think he ever recovered fully,” says Kristi Schaller of Elmer.
Dr. Lloyd Rudley, of Elmer, died Monday night when his car crossed the median on Route 55 in Millville and crashed head-on into trooper Frankie Williams, who also died.
Officials say Williams was responding to a call for an erratic driver that appears to have been Rudley.
Rudley was class valedictorian at Vineland High School in 1973 and went on to practice psychiatry for more than 30 years.
Schaller says Rudley was an only child and after his parents died he began spending holidays at her house including this recent Thanksgiving.
“He was no living relatives at all. So every holiday we’d have him here. He was like a family member without being blood family,” says Schaller.
She says Rudley has a history of diabetic shock episodes.
“We knew about it because my brother and I checked on him at his house and he was passed out on the kitchen floor,” says Schaller.
She says it has been upsetting hearing people speculate that the driver who hit Trooper Williams was impaired.
“He never touched liquor in his life or any kind of drugs except his insulin,” says Schaller.
A spokesman for New Jersey State Police says an autopsy was performed on Rudley but the results are not available at this time.