We here at Journal de la Reyna send our condolences to the family of Maria Fernandes.
There are so many Americans between the age of 18 - 34 who have one or more jobs and still can't managed the rent, the luxuries of success. This woman worked over four jobs and slept between each shift. This one time she decided to take a nap, she wouldn't wake up.
The New Jersey woman worked hard and never missed a day of work. Until that day where her quick nap became her death sentence. The woman was in the car and left the engine running. She was unaware of the tipped over gas can and the carbon monoxide looming in the car.
The Associated Press reports that Maria Fernandes worked four jobs, including shifts at two different Dunkin Donuts.
Often she drove from job to job, stopping along the road to catch a couple hours sleep, police said. She kept a container of gasoline in her 2001 Kia Sportage because occasionally she ran out of gas, authorities said.
|The type of sport utility vehicle Maria Fernandes drove.|
"This sounds like someone who tried desperately to work and make ends meet, and met with a tragic accident," Elizabeth police Lt. Daniel Saulnier said.
An autopsy today failed to determine the cause of death, and police are awaiting results of toxicology tests, Saulnier said. He said no foul play is suspected.
At 3:51 p.m., city EMTs responded a 911 call of a woman found in a vehicle in a corner of the WAWA convenience store on the northbound side of Routes 1 & 9. Emergency workers found all the windows and doors on the vehicle closed and when they got inside, they were hit with a chemical odor, authorities said.
After determining the woman in the vehicle, later identified as Fernandes, was dead, the emergency responders called in Union County's Hazmat workers.
|Dunkin Donuts in Dayton, Ohio.|
New Jersey has tens of thousands of people working multiple jobs, said Carl Van Horn, director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.
"These are are folks who would like to work full-time but they can't find the jobs," Van Horn said. "They wind up in these circumstances in which they are exhausted. More commonly it creates just an enormous amount of stress," he said.
Many people have been forced to work two or three part time jobs after losing a full-time position in the recession of 2008.
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 7.5 million people nationwide are working more than one job, Van Horn said, and those jobs still leave people with less income than their full-time work.
"The average person who lost their job took a 10 percent pay cut (after returning to the workforce)," Van Horn said.
Elizabeth police reached Fernandes's sister in Portugal this afternoon, Saulnier. They were still seeking a brother, who is an over-the-road trucker and out-of-state, the lieutenant said.
Tom Haydon the contributor of this article wrote that Maria was the "true face of the recession".
She and millions of others including myself work two or more jobs. It's a shame that even in America, some have to work more than two jobs to have a decent life.