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Maria FernandesELIZABETH, NJ – Police say 32-year-old Maria Fernandes died while napping in her car after being overcome by a mixture of carbon monoxide and fumes from an overturned gasoline container.

The 32-year-old worked four jobs, including shifts at two different Dunkin Donuts. While driving to these jobs, Fernandes would often pull her Kia Sportage off the road and take naps. She would also keep a container of gasoline in her car because she occasionally ran out of gas.

Last week Fernandes pulled into the parking lot of a convenience store to get some sleep after working an overnight shift. She left the car running and may have been unaware that the gas can in the car had turned over.

Eight hours later, police received a call about an unresponsive woman in a car. When emergency workers got inside the car, they immediately detected a strong chemical odor and determined Fernandes was dead. Since they didn’t know where the chemical smell was coming from or how deadly it was, they called in a Hazmat team.

Fernandes was removed once Hazmat members determined it was safe for others to enter the vehicle. An autopsy failed to determine a cause of death, so police are waiting on toxicology reports. They do not suspect foul play.

A co-worker at Dunkin’ Donuts said Fernandes would work three shifts every day and sometimes wouldn’t sleep for five days. She was also described as an avid Michael Jackson fan who had taken a rare day off to celebrate his birthday.

Joseph Seneca, Rutgers University professor of economics, said Fernandes is the face of the recession. Describing Fernandes as one of the 7.5 million people nationwide who are cobbling part time jobs together to make ends meet. However, one of Fernandes friends’ said she could speak four languages and chose not to get a better job because she didn’t want to work in an office.

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