(REDWOOD CITY, Calif.) -- No criminal charges will be filed in the limousine fire incident that killed a new bride and four of her friends earlier this year on the San Mateo Bridge, California officials said Monday. “We have concluded the fire was accidental,” Mike Maskarich, commander of the California Highway Patrol in Redwood City, said at a news conference Monday.
The fire, which California authorities said Monday was caused by a mechanical failure, erupted on board a 1999 Lincoln Town Car limousine as it crossed the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge in May, killing a newlywed, Neriza Fojas, 31, and four of her friends.
“This is a horrific tragedy,” San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Monday. “It's changed lives forever, but it is not a case that goes to the criminal courts.”
The limousine operator will be fined $1,500 for having nine people in the limo, one more than is allowed.
The victims' bodies were found huddled near the partition separating the driver's section of the car and the rear passenger area, suggesting they were trying to escape the fire, San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said at the time.
The driver and four other passengers survived.
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