- (Photo: YouTube/CNN Screen Shot)
The driver "didn't do anything" to help the victims of the California limo fire as five women were killed in the blaze, according to new eye witnesses coming forward this week.
A bride and four of her friends were killed as the limo they were traveling in suddenly burst into flames, leaving them trapped and unable to escape. The driver and four other women who were traveling in the limo were able to escape with their lives.
The women were traveling to the bride-to-be's bachelorette party at the time.
However, it has now emerged that one of the people to survive the fire has described that the driver "didn't do anything" to help save those trapped in the car.
"When he got out from that car, he just opened the door, that's all he did," Nelia Arellano, 36, told ABC News affiliate KGO-TV. "I even ask the driver, 'Open the door, open the door.' He didn't do anything.
"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."
The surviving women have now described how they knocked on the partitioning between the passengers and the driver to alert the limo driver that there was a fire.
However, the driver, Orville Brown, has rejected those eye witness accounts, saying that the women had only tapped on the partitioning to ask if they could smoke.
Brown also described how he did help some of the surviving women, pulling them out through the limo's partitioning to allow them to exit through the front doors.
However, Brown says that he was unable to do anything more when one of the women opened one of the doors of the limo, as the sudden rush of air into the vehicle fed the blaze and made the fire grow much more intense.
"When they opened the door, that let the fire get oxygen, that oxygenated the fire, it allowed oxygen to get to the fire and that fire spread so fast," Brown told KGO.
31-year-old bride-to-be, Neriza Fojas, and four of her friends were unable to escape the flames and died.
Authorities have reported that the victims were all found huddled around the partitioning, suggesting they were attempting to escape when they died.
"My guess would be they were trying to get away from the fire and use that window opening as an escape route," said San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault.
Authorities have said that the limo company may have violated the law by booking the limo over its capacity of eight occupants. There were nine people inside at the time of the fire.
Here is a video news report into the tragic incident: