Deadly Limo Fire: Driver Talks, Fresno Hospital Staff Mourns
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) —
Staff and patients at Community Regional Medical Center continue to mourn the loss of two nurses.
Michelle Estrera and Neriza Fojas worked together at the hospital.
The two women, along with three others, died inside a limousine which caught fire Saturday night on a Bay Area bridge.
Family and friends of the Fresno nurses say they are still trying to comprehend how such a tragedy could happen.
CEO of Community Regional Medical Center Jack Chubb released a statement on Tuesday saying, "These two outstanding nurses were loved by their patients, colleagues and staff at our hospital. Both were good friends, stellar nurses and excellent mentors who served as preceptors to new nurses."
Investigators say one of the passengers reportedly smelled smoke and banged on the glass partition to tell the driver.
The limo driver, Orville Brown, says he thought the women were asking if they could smoke.
"They had music on in the back. She knocked on the [the partition]... like I said, I thought she wanted to smoke a cigarette," Brown said.
Brown says once he heard screams, he immediately pulled over.
"The doors weren't locked. The lady or the guy, I'm not sure, so many things going through my head, but once they opened that back door, the flames just, whoosh, the flames got oxygenated and just terrible, man," Brown said.
In Fresno Monday, family and friends of Fojas spent the day packing up some of her belongings from her north Fresno home, including her dog.
Two of the four women who survived remain in critical condition at a Bay Area hospital.