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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 5, 2013 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
Authorities are trying to determine the cause of a fire that killed five women in a limousine late Saturday as it crossed the San Mateo Bridge in the Bay Area. The fire appeared to have started in the back of the limo, officials told the San Jose Mercury News. A total of 10 people were inside the vehicle when the fire started, and five - including the driver - were able to escape. Witnesses told the California Highway Patrol of a horrific scene of people inside the limo not able to get out as the flames advanced, according to KGO-TV.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 19, 2013 | By Angel Jennings
Limousine, taxi and van drivers were subjected to a pat-down of sorts at LAX on Thursday morning as law enforcement randomly inspected commercial ground transportation vehicles. The sting operation occurred at three locations around the busy airport from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Commercial ground transportation vehicles were checked for licensing, registration, and operating permits. The multi-agency enforcement team also checked safety equipment, such as braking systems and passenger seat belts, to make sure they were in working order.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 5, 2013 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
Eyewitnesses have come forward with photos showing large flames coming from the back of a limousine as it crossed the San Mateo Bridge late Saturday, killing 5 women. NBC Bay Area published two photos Sunday showing the back of the limo engulfed in flames, with smoke coming from inside the vehicle. A California Highway Patrol spokesman told the station the "vehicle was partially engulfed" but could not confirm if there was any type of explosion inside the limo. KTVU-TV obtained a similar photo of flames in the back of the white Lincoln Town Car. Officials are trying to determine the cause of the fire.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 28, 2013 | By Richard Winton
"Girls Gone Wild" creator Joe Francis must complete a year of psychological counseling and anger management as part of a sentence for assault and falsely imprisoning three women. Francis was sentenced Tuesday to 270 days in jail and three years probation after his conviction on five charges stemming from a Jan. 29, 2011, incident. The judge handed down the sentence after denying Francis' lawyer's motion for a new trial. The judge told Francis the women "were very credible" and that he needed anger management for his "temper.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 8, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
A woman killed over the weekend in a Bay Area limousine fire was going to have a wedding on a hilltop in the Philippines, her family said. Neriza Fojas, 31, had already had a civil wedding ceremony in Las Vegas with her husband, Carlo Moya, but was planning another June 19 on a Manila hilltop, her father told the San Francisco Chronicle . She was scheduled for a gown fitting and was expected to arrive in the Philippines on June 2. ...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 2013 | By Lee Romney, Angel Jennings and Joe Serna
OAKLAND -- The women involved in a deadly limo accident on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge on Saturday were friends who knew one another through nursing work and were celebrating the wedding of one of the five who died. "I'm shocked. It's devastating, a freak accident," Angela Huang told the San Jose Mercury News . Neighbors identified the newlywed as Nerizo Fojas. PHOTOS: Fatal limo fire A 31-year-old registered nurse at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, Fojas had been married recently in the United States and the couple were planning to travel to her native Philippines next month to hold a ceremony for her family, media that had spoken with Fojas' family reported.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 2013 | By Diana Marcum
FRESNO -- One worked the night shift, one the day. Both friends were members of a close-knit trauma medical/surgical team at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. On Monday, the hospital confirmed that Neriza Fojas and Michelle Estrera were among the five women killed in a mysterious limousine fire Saturday night on the San Mateo-Hayward bridge on the way to a bridal shower for Fojas. "They were loved. It's a very close team," said hospital spokeswoman Mary Lisa Russell.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 2013 | By Lee Romney
An Oakland nursing home was reeling Monday as staff and residents assessed the magnitude of their loss: Eight of the nurses involved in a deadly limousine fire had ties to the home. Four of them were killed. Officials at the Fruitvale Healthcare Center said two of the dead and two of the injured were still working  there, and two others who were killed and two others who were injured were former employees. "We are still in the process of learning the facts and circumstances surrounding this horrific event," the center's spokeswoman, Annaliese Impink, wrote in a statement.
WORLD
May 3, 2013 | By Daniel Hernandez
MEXICO CITY - They were tweeting about it, turning it into memes and ogling it in real life along the route that President Obama took from Mexico City's airport to the colonial front gate of the National Palace. Throughout Obama's visit, which ended Friday, the president's super-armored presidential limousine, nicknamed "The Beast" when it was unveiled four years ago, almost stole the show from the cool and cordial display of diplomacy between Obama and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 5, 2013 | By Angel Jennings
Authorities said it could take days to determine the cause of a fire that killed five people in a limousine late Saturday as it crossed the San Mateo Bridge, southeast of San Francisco. "This is not something that gets rushed through," said CHP Officer James Evans.  Five passengers died in the blaze and five people including the limo's driver escaped. The coroner's office has not released the name of the deceased, pending notification of next of kin. The surviving passengers - Jasmine Desguia, 34, of San Jose; Amalia Loyola, 48, of San Leandro; Nelia Arellano, 36, of Oakland; and Mary Guardiano, 42, of Alameda - were taken to area hospitals where they were treated for moderate burns and smoke inhalation, authorities said.  The driver, Orville Brown, 46, of San Jose, was not injured in the accident.  The vehicle was traveling on the San Mateo Bridge when for unknown reasons, it caught on fire, according to a report from the California Highway Patrol.  KTVU-TV obtained a horrific picture that shows flames engulfing the rear of the limo.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 20, 2013 | By Maria LaGanga
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- The livery company that operated the limo that burst into flames, claiming the lives of five women en route to a Bay Area bridal party, will be fined $7,500 but won't face criminal charges, law enforcement officials said Monday. A three-month investigation into the May crash deemed it "accidental in nature. "  The car was carrying two more passengers than was legal, officials said during a news conference, adding that the state would fine the company  for failing to operate it safely.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 19, 2013 | By Maria L. La Ganga
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - A limousine fire that claimed the lives of five women en route to a bridal party in May was “accidental in nature” and no criminal charges will be filed, law enforcement officials said Monday at the end of a three-month investigation. The limousine was carrying two more passengers than was legal, and the livery company will be fined $7,500 for failing to operate safely, officials said during an afternoon news conference, but the extra passengers were not the cause of the blaze.
BUSINESS
July 14, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - A long-dormant conflict over medical malpractice is heating up again at the state Capitol. A coalition of consumer advocates, trial lawyers and the nurses union is preparing to gather signatures for a state ballot initiative to raise the state's cap on certain medical malpractice damages. The campaign wants voters to change a 38-year-old California law that puts a $250,000 cap on the amount of money that juries can award for non-economic "pain and suffering" damages.
BUSINESS
July 9, 2013 | By Adolfo Flores
Honeybee Hyatt slides into her 2013 Cadillac Escalade, giddy for a night on the town. With its white leather seats, seven-spoke wheels and rear-view cameras, it's the ultimate in sport utility vehicles. But this time Hyatt doesn't want to drive it. Her chauffeur for the night is Josef Wojtkow, the owner of Your Car Our Driver, one of a handful of Southern California companies that will drive you in your own car. They are an offshoot of traditional chauffeur services, giving clients with high-end vehicles all the perks of a driver but without the limo or town car. In Southern California, where image is everything and car culture rules, wealthy folks such as Hyatt are revving up a cottage industry catering to people who don't want a full-time driver, but who need rides to the airport, say, or in this case, a concert.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 8, 2013 | Lee Romney
The San Mateo County coroner's office Tuesday released the names of five women killed on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge when their limousine became engulfed in flames. They are: Neriza Fojas, 31, and Michelle Estrera, 35, of Fresno; Jennifer Balon, 39, of Dublin, Calif.; Anna Alcantara, 46, of San Lorenzo, Calif.; and Felomina Geronga, 43, of Alameda. Four others survived. Other than Geronga, the close-knit Filipina friends were all nurses who had met while working at Oakland's Fruitvale Healthcare Center, bonding like "sisters," one survivor told a local television station.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 8, 2013 | By Joseph Serna and Lee Romney
Government officials from the United States and the Philippines took to social media this week to express condolences to the families of a group of Filipina nurses who died in a Bay Area limousine fire over the weekend. “Condolences to the Fojas family in the Philippines and the U.S. and other nurses,” tweeted U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas Jr. The Philippines ambassador to the United States, Jose L. Cuisia Jr., said, "We join the rest of the Filipino Community in the US in prayer for the eternal repose of the souls of those who perished,” the Philippine embassy tweeted . The embassy followed by saying, “The embassy and the consulate general in San Francisco stand ready to extend any possible assistance to the victims and their families.” The outpouring of support comes in the wake of the fatal fire on the San-Mateo-Hayward Bridge on Saturday night.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 2013 | By Lee Romney and Diana Marcum, Los Angeles Times
OAKLAND - Grief and disbelief reverberated from the Bay Area to the Central Valley on Monday as questions multiplied about a limousine fire that killed five women and injured four on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge. Although officials said they had yet to review the limousine's maintenance record or examine its burned-out shell, California Highway Patrol Capt. Mike Maskarich said the 1999 Lincoln Town Car was licensed to carry only eight passengers, though nine were inside. The Saturday night inferno trapped the women as they headed for what was to be a celebratory bridal party at a hotel.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 2013 | By Lee Romney
The limousine that became engulfed in flames on the Hayward-San Mateo Bridge was authorized to transport eight passengers but was carrying nine, the California Highway Patrol said Monday. The 1999 Lincoln Town Car is regulated by the state Public Utilities Commission, CHP Capt. Mike Maskarich said at a news conference in the highway patrol's Redwood City area office. He said the regulatory mandates would be explored as part of a larger investigation into the fire that engulfed the car. PHOTOS: Fatal limo fire Maskarich and Foster City fire officials, who are assisting in the investigation, declined to elaborate on a possible cause or origin of the blaze, saying they have yet to review the vehicle's maintenance records, conduct more thorough interviews with the driver and survivors, or explore any potential recalls or other mechanical issues known to be associated with the model.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 8, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
A woman killed over the weekend in a Bay Area limousine fire was going to have a wedding on a hilltop in the Philippines, her family said. Neriza Fojas, 31, had already had a civil wedding ceremony in Las Vegas with her husband, Carlo Moya, but was planning another June 19 on a Manila hilltop, her father told the San Francisco Chronicle . She was scheduled for a gown fitting and was expected to arrive in the Philippines on June 2. ...
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