Regulations

Why Couldn't Passengers Escape Stretch Limo Fire?

Posted on August 5, 2013

Should chauffeurs refrain from controlling child safety locks in stretch limousines? Or does preventing rollouts from drunk passengers outweigh the option to have passengers in control of rear doors?
Should chauffeurs refrain from controlling child safety locks in stretch limousines? Or does preventing rollouts from drunk passengers outweigh the option to have passengers in control of rear doors?

Why couldn't more of them escape?

It remains one of the most haunting questions three months to the day after a grisly limousine fire killed a new bride and four of her friends on the San Mateo Bridge on the first Saturday night in May.

Surrounded by smoke, then flames, they were trapped in the back of a 1999 Lincoln Town Car stretch limousine, with the four survivors crawling into the driver's seat through a partition window about 18 inches high by about 3 feet wide. Five of their friends -- all nurses -- were found dead near that opening.

Now, as investigators prepare to release findings into what started the fire, and lawmakers push for new safety requirements, the Bay Area News Group rented the same year and model of limo -- one of the industry's workhorses -- to see what needs to change so passengers can get out in an emergency.

Bay Area Newspaper Group article and video here

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