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Inside Politics

Corzine: I hope the state will forgive me

Story Highlights

• Gov. Corzine goes home after nearly three weeks in the hospital
• Corzine was not wearing his seatbelt when incident occurred
• Governor's left femur was broken in two places; bone pierced through skin
• He will not immediately return to work; has to undergo extensive physical therapy
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(CNN) -- New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine was released from the hospital Monday, nearly three weeks after he almost died in a car crash.

"I'm a blessed human being. I could not be more grateful for the support I have had," he said with his two adult children at his side as he left the hospital in a wheelchair.

Corzine, an aide and a state trooper who was driving the vehicle in which they were traveling were hurt in the high-speed crash. The governor -- who was not wearing a seat belt -- was hurt the worst. (Watch the governor apologize outside the hospital Video)

The governor fought back tears as he told reporters he planned to work hard to "set the right kind of example to make a difference in people's lives."

"I understand that I set a very poor example for a lot of young people, and people in general," the governor said outside the Cooper University Hospital hospital.

"I hope the state will forgive me," he said.

The governor was riding in the front seat when his vehicle hit a guardrail on the Garden State Parkway in Galloway Township, just north of Atlantic City, New Jersey. The vehicle was traveling at about 90 mph at the time of the accident.

The governor's left femur was broken in two places and pierced through his skin. He also broke 11 ribs, his sternum, his collarbone, fractured a lower vertebra and suffered a deep facial cut that was repaired by a plastic surgeon.

The 60-year-old governor spent days on a ventilator in critical condition.

Police believe the crash happened after a Dodge Ram clipped the governor's vehicle when it swerved to avoid hitting a red pickup truck that officials said made an erratic move.

Police found the driver of the truck with help from the Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, surveillance cameras and toll information.

No charges were filed because the driver, a 20-year-old Atlantic County man, was unaware he was involved in the accident, police said.

Corzine will not return to work immediately because he has to undergo extensive physical therapy.

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