Northern California Seeks Safer Limousines
Written by James P. Nevin
The families of the 5 women who died in a limo fire which took place May, 2013 on the San Mateo Bridge in the Northern California San Francisco Bay Area have filed a wrongful death suit against several companies who maintained, repaired and operated the limousine. The driver, who has been accused of being on his cell phone at the time, will not face charges.
It has been determined that the source of the fire was a failure of the rear suspension system. The spinning drive-shaft made contact with the floor plan causing friction. This ignited the carpets in the passenger compartment setting the vehicle ablaze. Only 4 of the 9 women in the vehicle were able to crawl through the partition window to safety. The other 5 women, all friends celebrating a recent wedding, died of smoke inhalation, including the new bride.
The owner of Limo Stop's, the company responsible for the vehicle, said "We did everything we had to do to keep the limo in proper driving condition. It was a horrible accident."
San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe announced, "Some tragedies are crimes and some are not. This is not." According to Wagstaffe no criminal charges will be filed.
In response to this tragedy Bay Area lawmakers have proposed limo safety improvements. These would include; pop-out windows, mandatory fire extinguishers and passenger safety briefings. While new laws cannot heal the families left behind, perhaps stricter safety regulations can help to prevent similar accidents in the future.
The families of the 5 women who died in a limo fire which took place May, 2013 on the San Mateo Bridge in the Northern California San Francisco Bay Area have filed a wrongful death suit against several companies who maintained, repaired and operated the limousine.