Published May 05, 2013
A limousine heading to a bachelorette party burst into flames in the San Francisco area, killing five female passengers, including the bride-to-be, while four other women managed to escape, according to the mother of one of the survivors.
Rosita Guardiano told the San Francisco Chronicle that her daughter -- 42-year-old Mary Grace Guardiano of Alameda -- is in intensive care, where she's being treated for smoke inhalation. She also said the woman for whom the bridal shower was being thrown was to be married next month.
The name of the bride-to-be -- or of the other four women killed -- has not been released by officials.
The limo was carrying nine female passengers and a male driver when it caught fire late Saturday on the San Mateo bridge, California Highway Patrol officer Art Montiel told The Associated Press.
Five occupants became trapped, while four others suffered injuries but managed to get out after the vehicle came to a stop on the bridge, the patrol said. The driver escaped uninjured.
Montiel said that the victims were all in their 30s and were heading from Alameda to Foster City.
KTVU reports that authorities identified the the surviving passengers as Jasmine Desguia, 34, of San Jose; Nelia Arrellano, 36, of Oakland; Amalia Loyola, 48, of San Leandro; and Guardiano.
The blaze occurred around 10 p.m. on westbound lanes of the bridge, which connects San Mateo and Alameda counties, about 20 miles southeast of San Francisco.
The patrol said that smoke started coming out of the rear of the limo, and the driver pulled over as the vehicle quickly became engulfed in flames. Officers were trying to determine the cause of the blaze, which wasn't the result of an accident.
"We have no idea right now where they were going or where they were coming from," CHP officer Amelia Jack told KGO-TV.
Two of the women who escaped were taken to Stanford Hospital and the two others were taken to Valley Medical Center in San Jose. All four are being treated for smoke inhalation and burns.
The westbound lanes of the bridge were closed as officers investigated the cause of the deadly fire, but the patrol said one lane of traffic reopened early Sunday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.