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Westfield's Donna Rothstein Dies Following Car Accident

A Sunday stroll at dusk turned tragic when the Rothsteins were struck by a car.

Donna and Bruce Rothstein of Westfield, NJ. Photo courtesy David Ross
Donna and Bruce Rothstein of Westfield, NJ. Photo courtesy David Ross
Westfield residents Donna and Bruce Rothstein were heading back from a late afternoon walk in the park Sunday when they were suddenly both struck by a car while crossing Prospect Street, at Cowperthwaite Place. 

"In the middle of the street I was hit and I went airborne," said Bruce Rothstein.  "It was surreal. I never heard anything. Never any brakes. I actually hit the ground. I woke up with an EMT flashing a light at me." 

He learned that his wife Donna, 63, had been severely injured and was rushed to University Hospital in Newark. That evening Bruce Rothstein was at her side with their 28-year old son, Matt. She was put into a medically-induced coma and doctors performed surgery to address the swelling in her brain, but her injuries were too severe. After a few days, Donna was taken off life support. She passed away Wednesday.

The car was driven by Jason Lutz of Westfield, according to Westfield Police.

The Rothsteins were married for 32 years. They had met at a Halloween party at the Bitter End in New York City.

Bruce Rothstein is a dentist. Donna Rothstein was a clinical social worker and psychotherapist with her own private practice in Staten Island. But she had another fulfilling career in music. Under the name Donna Lisa she produced a CD, Toucan You Can. She also wrote children's stories, screenplays and TV pilots, some of which may soon be produced.  

"She's so creative and was so incredible, she could write a song or a new pilot so quickly," said her son, Matt. 

She was also an avid walker, who often took the same route to Mindowaskin Park. Typically she went solo, but on Sunday persuaded her husband to join her.

The funeral will be held Sunday at 1:15 p.m. at the Congregation Beth Hatikvah, 36 Chatham Rd. in Summit. Burial will be held afterwards at the B'nai Abraham Cemetery in Union. 

Family and friends have been reaching out, including the members of the local Democratic Committee who supported Donna Rothstein when she ran for Council 17 years ago when the couple first moved to Westfield. 

An attorney has been retained by the Rothstein family. 

"I know it was an accident," said Bruce Rothstein. "I’m sure this kid's life is not going to be the same either. It only takes an instant to change a life and somebody else’s."


BABY 1 February 07, 2014 at 09:34 AM
So very sorry for your loss sending prayers .
Lisa Laurella February 07, 2014 at 09:49 PM
Doc, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. We are so very sorry. The Laurella's
Robert K. Greco February 08, 2014 at 09:55 AM
Donna was my therapist for the past 8 1/2 years. There were many things i didn't know about her but from what little things she told me I knew she was an amazing person.Her passing leaves a hole in my life that can never be filled. It was an honor to have her be a part of my life and I'll always carry her with me. She'll always have a special place in my heart.
Westfield Parent February 08, 2014 at 10:26 AM
So tragic. The reporter/editor left out one big piece of information: was the driver charged or issued anything by the police?
Elizabeth English February 08, 2014 at 05:04 PM
Moondance has sadly lost a good friend. Screenwriter-songwriter and 7-time Moondance award-winner over the years. Such a sad, tragic and unfortunate loss. She will be greatly missed by many, but her legacy will continue on. Please visit her website at: www.donnalisa.com. Donna was a special friend of mine and of the Moondance, and we spent many happy and productive hours together. Her talent, kindness, generosity and love for all kids will always shine brightly, and will continue to inspire others. My heartfelt condolences to her family, friends and her many fans. ~Elizabeth English, Executive Director, Moondance International Film Festival, Boulder, CO
Lorraine Sednaouiy February 08, 2014 at 07:31 PM
So sorry for your loss, your in our prayers. Sam &LorraineSednaouiy
Robert K. Greco February 09, 2014 at 05:50 PM
Mikka H, Have you no decency?
NewarkDirect February 09, 2014 at 09:59 PM
I'm all for free speech but the Mikka H comment is offensive and should be taken down - I'm sure the courts will work out any relevant issues. Hard fact is this is at least the 4th and sadly most serious accident on or crossing Prospect in the past year #slowdown
Aljo February 10, 2014 at 06:24 AM
I thank whoever took down the Mikka H comment and ask that this individual be banned from the patch.com site. This article was meant to honor Donna Rothstein, a truely amazing woman who was taken from us too soon. Only love and positive thoughts are to be directed towards this family.
Ricardo Carlos Castro February 10, 2014 at 09:56 PM
We can never tell when and where danger will strike, who would that be and what would they look like. We could also never know how will they hurt us. So all we need to do is to be prepare because everyone could be their victim. Good thing I heard about this application while surfing in the net, I subscribed myself right away after reading the features. Here, check it out. https://login.safekidzone.com/Relentless-Protection-For-Our-Kids-With-a-Cell-Phone/?a_aid=514ae2c64ba1d&a_bid=dc55bebf
Maria Montanez February 14, 2014 at 03:47 PM
In all our visits,you never failed to mention something about your wife and the many happy times you shared together.We are truly sorry and saddened by your loss.You are in our thoughts and prayers Miriam and Mitchell Herman
Sausen Silmi February 19, 2014 at 03:22 PM
We were so shocked. So sorry for your loss, you always mentioned Donna with such tenderness. You are in our thoughts. Hope to see you soon, Sausen and girls.
Robert K. Greco March 17, 2014 at 05:23 PM
It's been more than a month, I'm still missing her. Her kindness, wisdom, and humor. I'll always have her with me as long as I remember her. Robert K. Greco

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