It’s likely that few residents of the Bay area will soon forget the bachelorette party that ended in tragedy this past spring. A fire engulfed the overcrowded limo in which the group was travelling, leaving five of the partygoers, including the bride, dead. In the months since the incident, the incident has been under investigation. Recently the results of the investigation conducted by the California Highway Patrol were revealed.
The investigation determined that a catastrophic failure of the rear suspension system was to blame for the deadly blaze. More specifically, the fire broke out when friction due to the driveshaft that was spinning, touching the floor plan, started the vehicle’s carpet on fire. This determination led to the fire being characterized as an accident.
After the fire ignited, the high volume of the music playing in the vehicle may have made it difficult for the driver to hear the cries for help from the women. A surviving passenger said she attempted to inform the driver of the problem by banging on the partition. The driver indicated that he did not respond because he thought that she wanted to smoke a cigarette.
While the man who was behind the wheel of the limo when this tragic incident occurred will not face criminal charges, it does not mean that he will not face legal action. In addition to the $7,500 fine that has been levied by the California Public Utilities Commission against the driver for allowing too many passengers to ride in the limo, loved ones of the women who died in the incident may decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Whether that happens remains to be seen.
Source: CBS, “Fatal Bay Area Limo Fire Ruled Accident; 911 Tapes Reveal Victims’ Screams,” Aug. 19, 2013