Maria Fernandes from Newark, NJ, was struggling to survive, working 4 jobs at the same time. Her story, unfortunately, is not an isolated case. There are millions of women and men who are forced to work a couple of low-income jobs just to make ends meet, but Maria’s story should serve as a wake up call, because it’s not a happy ending one.
In between her shifts, Maria would often find a public parking space and nap in her car, just to recharge the batteries and rest a bit. She would keep a can of gasoline in the trunk since she had ran out of gas more than once and didn’t want to go through it again. On Monday, she pulled into a WaWa convenience store parking lot in Elizabeth, NJ, to nap, which was something she did often. After a while, concerned employees noticed that something is off and called 911. When the emergency service arrived and opened the car door they noticed a toxic odor right away. They declared her dead at the scene and called the Hazmat team to check thoroughly and determine what happened. It was concluded that she died from inhaling a lethal 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.