A massive car fire near the Bourne Bridge caused significant traffic delays June 25. Veronica Sousa of New Bedford, the driver involved in the incident, recounted the harrowing experience and provided insights into what happened.

"It was very scary," Sousa said. She was traveling with her boyfriend, en route to visit his aunt at a nursing home in Falmouth, when the ordeal began. "We had just reached the mid-section of the Bourne Bridge when my boyfriend asked if I smelled something. It smelled like fire, so I started looking around, thinking there was a fire nearby."

To the couple's horror, the fire was coming from their car.

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"It was our car, and it was coming from underneath the hood. We saw smoke and flames," Sousa said.

They immediately honked the horn to alert other drivers. They attempted to maneuver the vehicle off the bridge, their primary concern being danger to themselves and other motorists.

Courtesy Veronica Sousa
Courtesy Veronica Sousa

Their quick thinking paid off.

Sousa and her boyfriend managed to steer the car into the lot of the Bourne State Police barracks. "We jumped out of the car as fast as we could, within seconds of it blowing up into flames," Sousa said. "I definitely felt like we were filming a movie and I couldn’t believe it."

The rapid response from state troopers and the Bourne Fire Department was crucial. Sousa later learned that the fire department had been on the bridge not far behind them, allowing them to arrive at the scene swiftly.


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"Thankfully, they were able to get there so quickly because they haven't seen a vehicle blow up in flames so quickly," she said.

Sousa said she wasn't sure about a cause.

"One week ago, my car was hit overnight while I was asleep," she said, suggesting that the previous damage might have contributed to the fire.

Courtesy Veronica Sousa
Courtesy Veronica Sousa

Despite the terrifying experience, Sousa expressed immense gratitude.

"I am so lucky. There's nothing like a near-death experience to change your perspective on life," she said. "I have kids, and now the mom mentality is kicking in. I am so thankful that the kids didn't want to go and that they were home. It was just me and my boyfriend. When I tell you I felt like I was in a movie... We jumped. I’ve never moved so quickly in my life. The smoke and flames were already coming in through the vent in the vehicle."

Regarding insurance, Sousa said, "We already have things rolling, and now it’s just a waiting game. Hopefully, everything works out and we can get back into a vehicle sooner rather than later."

Thanks to the swift actions of Sousa, her boyfriend, and the emergency responders, a potentially tragic outcome was averted.

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