Maria Fernandes, 32, of Newark, NJ, worked four jobs, including two at different Dunkin Donuts stores. In between working, she would often park in public lots and catch up on sleep. She kept a can of gasoline in her car because she had occasionally run out of gas in the past during her job commutes.On Monday, Fernandes pulled into a WaWa convenience store parking lot in Elizabeth, NJ, to nap. Concerned employees called 911. When emergency workers arrived and opened her car door, they were met with a toxic odor. Workers determined that Fernandes was dead and called Hazmat workers to the scene.Fernandes died from inhaling a fatal mixture of carbon monoxide from her car, which was running, and the can of gasoline that spilled open in the back of her car.
Elizabeth police Lt. Daniel Saulnier told The Star-Ledger of Newark, “This sounds like someone who tried desperately to work and make ends meet, and met with a tragic accident.”
It was reported by the paper that since the recession in 2008 many people were forced to work two or more jobs and still end up with less income than working one full-time job. The situation is worrying and we just hope that it won’t be something that happens often.
According to the police, it was just an unfortunate accident; there are no signs of foul play. Let’s hope that this story will serve as a lesson for all the employers out there and they won’t allow low wages to take their toll and cause another casualty.