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Bride, 4 others die in limo fire on California bridge



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"It’s something you never imagine will happen," he told the Chronicle. "It’s a limousine ride. It’s supposed to be a joyous thing."

Brown said he is an experienced commercial driver who has operated airport shuttles and trucks.

At a glance

Limo that went up in flames had extra passenger

Investigators trying to determine why the back of a stretch limousine burst into flames on a San Francisco Bay bridge, trapping and killing five women inside, say the vehicle was carrying too many passengers.

California Highway Patrol Capt. Mike Maskarich said at a news conference on Monday that the vehicle was listed by the state Public Utilities Commission for eight or fewer passengers, but had nine. He did not comment on whether the overcrowding may have been a factor in the women’s deaths.

Maskarich said the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

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He started driving for Limo Stop Inc. two months earlier and had put in about six shifts behind the wheel of the Town Car that caught fire, he said.

Medical examiners will identify the victims by using dental records. Foucrault said the autopsies will include toxicology tests, as well as examinations into whether any accelerant such as alcohol or gasoline was found on the bodies.

The CHP said the four other women who escaped the fire were being treated at nearby hospitals for burns and smoke inhalation. They were identified as Mary G. Guardiano, 42, of Alameda; Jasmine Desguia, 34, of San Jose; Nelia Arrellano, 36, of Oakland; and Amalia Loyola, 48, of San Leandro.

Desguia and Loyola were listed in critical condition Monday, a spokeswoman for Valley Medical Center said. The condition of Arrellano, who was taken to another hospital, was not known.

A spokeswoman for Community Medical Center in Fresno said one or more of its employees were in the limo.

Limo Stop offers service through limousines, vans and SUVS. Records of the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates limousine companies, showed the company is properly licensed and insured.

The company issued a statement pledging to do "everything possible" to help determine the cause of the fire and "bring forth answers and provide closure" to victims and their families.

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Associated Press Writer Daisy Nguyen contributed to this report from Los Angeles.



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