Bay Area

Car fire victims in Bay Area all nurses headed to bridal shower

san-mateo-limo-bang.jpgMan, what a horrific story out of Northern California. Nine friends out on the town Saturday night to celebrate the wedding of Neriza Fojas were taking a limousine to a bridal shower in Foster City. On the San Mateo Bridge, the back of the 1999 Lincoln Town Car burst into flames. The driver stopped and he and four of the women jumped out. The women in the back couldn't get their doors open and apparently huddled by the little window into the driver's compartment. Five died in the car, including Fojas. All were nurses. "This is one of the most horrific things I've seen in 21 years with this office," San Mateo County's medical examiner, Robert Foucrault, said Sunday.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Fojas, a 31-year-old registered nurse at the Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, had been married recently in the United States, said her sister Rosalyn Bersamin, who lives in Hawaii. The couple were planning to travel to her native Philippines next month and hold another ceremony before her family June 19, Bersamin said.

After partying Saturday evening in the East Bay, Fojas and her friends were headed to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City for her bridal shower. Her husband was at the hotel, waiting for his bride.


The victims who died, Foucrault said, "were either trying to escape or huddled together for protection. They may have been trying to get out that window" into the driver's compartment.

CHP Officer Art Montiel said investigators don't know what caused the fire, but they are asking anyone who saw what happened to call.

"It wasn't a traffic collision, but we are still investigating," Montiel said. "We are asking the public, anyone who saw what happened, to call us. We don't know if the fire started on the inside or the outside."

The driver, Orville Brown, was reported so shaken on Sunday that he says he won't drive again.

More coverage: San Mateo Times.

Photo by Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group

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