On Saturday, May 4th, a tragic accident at the border of the San Mateo County and Alameda County took the lives of five young women. While traveling west on the San Mateo Hayward bridge in Foster City, 31-year-old Neriza Fojas and her eight close friends were on their way to a bachelorette party to celebrate the upcoming wedding of Fojas when suddenly their limousine burst into flames. The fire apparently originated at the rear of the vehicle, in or near the trunk, and then rapidly spread towards the cabin.
Five of the women, including Fojas, were trapped near the front towards the partition of the limo, and died while attempting to escape through the window. The other four women survived, but were sent to nearby hospitals with serious burns and lung problems.
The driver was unharmed in the incident, but in a state of shock. In interviews, the driver has said that the fire spread so quickly, that by the time he was aware of the situation there was little he could do. Apparently when the women first tried to alert him to the flames, his hearing was impaired due to the closed glass partition and loud music.
Fojas and her friends were all registered nurses, and she had planned to be married in the Philippines in June. The group was on the way to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City where Fojas’s husband-to-be was waiting. Witnesses described the scene as terrifying, and the heat from the vehicle could be felt from inside their own cars as they drove across the bridge.
The limo company “LimoStop Inc.” issued a statement saying they are deeply saddened by the event, and will assist authorities in any way possible to help bring answers to the surviving victims and their families.
Our hearts go out to these women and their families. Losing a loved one is tragic, and there are no words that can describe the pain and feelings of grief suffered by the entire family after a wrongful death. While there is no way to replace a loved one, one way to prevent similar accidents from happening is to hold the negligent parties responsible.
“Some things happen by an unfortunate series of circumstances, but individuals and businesses alike have a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid harmful consequences.”
In this limousine accident, there may have been negligence on the part of the limousine company. If there was a component that was defective as a result of poor maintenance, or if dangerous things were left in the vehicle and led to the fire, the company could be liable. Some things happen by an unfortunate series of circumstances, but individuals and businesses alike have a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid harmful consequences.
If the destruction that happened here was caused by negligence, personal injury and wrongful deaths claims will likely be filed by the victims and their families. These claims allow for families to be compensated for the financial and emotional hardship they will suffer as a result of a serious injury or death of a loved one. In claims such as this, where liability may not be certain, it can be crucial to consult with a personal injury attorney experienced in handling wrongful death claims.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in an accident, and you are looking for more information about legal representation, visit our website or call 1-800-881-2021. Our personal injury team answers calls any time of the day or night, and consultations and evaluations are free of charge.