May 06, 2013
A fiery death is what every person wants to avoid but it was an inevitable destiny of the operator of a vehicle bearing a bride who just got married and eight of her friends. The grim event happened to the limo that was doomed to turn into a fiery death trap.
Capt. Mike Maskarich of the Highway Patrol said that the Lincoln 1999Town Car must have been overloaded as they found out that it was carrying one more passenger that was beyond the loading capacity of the vehicle. However, he would not want to establish that overcrowding was the sole factor in the accident.
The driver of the car, identified as Orville Brown said he was shocked when one of his woman passengers tapped on the glass partition and complained of smoke.
With the music in full volume, eight friends from ages 30s and 40s were celebrating an all-girls night out. He told them that no smoking is allowed inside the car.
Just after 10:00 o’clock in that evening of Saturday, as the limo was traveling over the San Francisco Bay area, the women knocked on the glass partition and shouted that there were lots of smoke and that they have to pull over.
The 46-year-old pulled over the side of the bridge and saw that the car’s back was engulfed in flames. By climbing over the partition, four of the women were able to get out of the limo through the front doors.
.Passing drivers who saw the accident stopped to assist but the fire was already going too strong.
Brown thought that with all that fire burning, the women-passengers who were left inside were already goners. The flames were too much and within 90 seconds, the whole car was on fire.
When firefighters came at the San Mateo Bridge in Foster City, they discovered five charred bodies of the dead who were huddled by the partition as they were apparently trying to get out but failed.
The Fire Department of San Mateo was investigating the cause of the fire. Meanwhile, the coroner’s office worked with the CHPP to discover if there was anything criminal happened.
County Coroner Robert Foucrault of San Mateo surmised that no kind of criminality was involved.
Authorities discovered that one of the fatalities was named Neriza Fojas, age 31, a Filipina registered nurse from Fresno who recently got married and was planning to hold a second wedding ceremony in her native Philippines with all her family and relatives in attendance. The other women were her co-nurses who were celebrating the occasion.
Brown informed investigators that he women were from Oakland and they were on their way to Foster City’s Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Rosalyn Bersamin who is Fojas’ sister told Coroner Robert Foucrault that her sister and friends were on their way to the hotel to party with the groom. A sobbing Bersamin said that her sister was a loving and hard working woman.
About a third of the back part of the limo had been destroyed by the fire with the .bumper and taillights gone and just resting on its rims. However, the rest of the car was not damaged.
The brother of the driver said that Brown could not help the women escaped as the flames were moving so fast. He added that due to the tragedy, his brother said that he would never drive again.
Medical examiners will able to identify the fatalities through dental records. Foucrault said that after autopsies that include toxicology tests, they will be able to know whether there was any accelerant such as alcohol or gasoline present on the bodies.
Four lucky women who escaped are: (1) Nelia Arrellano, age 36, resident of Oakland; (2) Jasmine Desguia, age 34, resident of San Jose; (3) Mary G. Guardiano, age 42, resident of Alameda; and (4) Amalia Loyola, age 48, resident of San Leandro. They were delivered to hospitals and treated for burns and smoke inhalation.
Two victims, identified as Desguia and Loyola were listed in life threatening condition; Arellano’s condition was described as weak and was taken to another hospital. Guardiano will soon be released from the hospital.
The spokesperson of the Community Medical Center in Fresno said there was one or more of its employees in the limo.
Limo Stop was identified as the company operating the limo; the company offers transportation service through limousines, SUV and vans. They issued a statement that they will cooperate in the investigation and determining the cause of the fire to satisfy victims and families.
Records showed that Public Utilities Commission of California is regulating limousine companies and reported that Limo Stop is licensed and insured.
Accident victims have rights. If you were injured in a car accident, contact an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer now for free consultation. He will protect the rights of you and your loved ones. You may be entitled to financial compensation for economic damages, as well as pain and suffering.
Source: NY Daily News Com