Limo Fire Survivor: Driver Didn't Help Us

Authorities say limo had 1 passenger too many

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 6, 2013 10:37 PM CDT | Updated May 7, 2013 5:36 AM CDT
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(Newser) – One of the surviving passengers from the limo fire that killed five women disputes driver Orville Brown's version of events and says he could have done more to help. Gloria Arrellano says she was the first to crawl through the partition after Brown stopped the limo on the San Mateo Bridge. "When he stop the car, he get out from the car, he just get out from the car," she said. "When he get out from that car, he just opened the door, that's all he did. I even ask him, 'Help me, help me,' because I bring out my head from that compartment and say help me, so I could squeeze myself over there and slide myself," she tells ABC7.

Arrellano says that after she escaped, she ran back to the vehicle and managed to pull one more friend to safety. After that, "I tried to check if I can pull out one more, but it's already too dark and I can't see anything anymore," she says. Authorities are still investigating how the fire erupted and why the women were unable to escape out the rear doors. Brown speculates that it may have been an electrical problem, reports the San Jose Mercury News. "There are lots of things in limousines that are flammable, from the extra foam to the extra vinyl, wood paneling, all the lighting systems," he says. Officials say the limo had one more passenger than the eight it was authorized to carry, but it's too early to tell whether overcrowding was a factor, the AP notes.

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