Limousine fire victims remembered

May 13, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Family members join the community in grief, and in prayer while remembering the lives of two Valley nurses, Michelle Estrera and Neriza Fojas.

Michelle Estrera's cousin Dennis Donalvo said, "It's so tough right now for us, right now, we're actually in deep shock still."

Their story shocked the nation. They were two of five women killed after the limo they were riding in caught fire on May 4th.

They called the Monday night service at Sacred Heart Catholic Church a "Celebration of Life." About a hundred people filed into the church where they sang, prayed, listened and mourned the two young lives.

Church leaders say every song was for the souls of Neriza Fojas and her best friend Michelle Estrera. Both their husbands brought up the offerings. Both were too grief stricken to speak to the congregation.

Michelle Estrera's family members say the 35 year old CRMC nurse was energetic, and loved to travel.

Donalvo said, "She was fun loving person, loves to play with kids."

And she was a godmother to little Denrick, a little boy whom she won't see grow up.

Donalvo now says he's hoping Michelle's death will bring about change for the limousine industry. He said, "They have no choice, they have to do it."

Michelle and Neriza died when their limo caught fire on the San Mateo Bridge. They were celebrating Neriza's impending wedding.

Nancy Hoff, from the Philippine Nurses Association, helped organize the Monday night Rosary and Mass. "Instead of I guess, being sad about them, we're celebrating the life they've had."

Hoff said the two women were part of a larger, global family. "Because of who they are and what they do, we are here joining in prayer for the repose of their souls."

And spiritual leaders hope their families will find comfort in the strength of a community.

The California Nurse's Association started a fund to help the families of the 4 nurses and one health care worker who were killed. It's called the "CNA Nursing Angels Family Fund" and can be accessed through their website.


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