Like so many people in this country trying to make ends meet in this tough economy, Maria Fernandes worked long hours just to keep food on the table. Unfortunately for her, that meant working four jobs. Last week, while trying to catch a nap between shifts, Maria died in her car from carbon monoxide poisoning, The Huffington Post is reporting.
Maria was a 32-year-old immigrant from Portugal, who often worked up to three shifts per day at the Penn Station Dunkin Donuts. On Monday, she got into her 2001 Kia Sportage and drove to an empty lot in Elizabeth to catch a nap. Police believe a gas can she kept in her car overturned while she was sleeping and, combined with the exhaust fumes from her car, created a deadly mix of carbon monoxide poisoning. She was found dead at 3:51 P.M., according to True Jersey.
Lieutenant Daniel Saulnier told Raw Story:
“This sounds like someone who tried desperately to work and make ends meet, and met with a tragic accident.”
According to her co-worker Parth Patel:
“She used to work like three shifts every day. Sometimes she wouldn’t sleep for five days.”
Despite her difficult circumstances, Maria was a popular fixture at the Penn Station Dunkin Donuts. She idolized the late Michael Jackson, often singing Michael Jackson tunes and dancing while working, to the delight of coworkers and customers. She had planned to take some time off to go to a planned memorial for the late singer last Friday.
Maria was one of the 7.5 million Americans who have had to take part-time jobs just to get by since the 2008 recession (see: Obama Then And Now On The Economy: 2008 vs. 2012 – Inquisitr). Te recession has hit particularly hard in New Jersey. Carl Van Horn, director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, told True Jersey:
“These are are folks who would like to work full-time but they can’t find the jobs, They wind up in these circumstances in which they are exhausted. More commonly it creates just an enormous amount of stress. [And when they return to the workforce] the average person who lost their job took a 10 percent pay cut.”
Fernandes was single and had no children. Police were able to contact a sister, who lived in Portugal, but as of this post are still trying to reach a brother, who is an over-the-road trucker.
Are you working multiple jobs to get by in this economy? Let us know below.
Image courtesy of: Huffington Post