Camphone pic from the limo driver.
COSTA MESA – She was only 10 minutes from being dropped off at home after more than eight hours partying from Laguna Beach to Hollywood, the limo driver said.
That's when driver Brandon Bonda heard the banging and screaming: "Stop, stop, stop!"
Bonda rolled down the partition.
"Somebody just jumped out the window!" the occupants screamed.
Bonda pulled over the stretch Hummer limousine on the San Diego (405) freeway near Bristol Street. The 25-year-old woman had jumped out a window into southbound traffic.
She was identified as Jessica Rowe of Irvine. Police are investigating the death but are calling it an apparent suicide.
"If she would've waited, she would have gotten home," Bonda, 26, said. "I couldn't believe it."
Rowe's death and the subsequent investigation caused a massive backup on the freeway and clogged nearby local streets throughout the Wednesday morning rush hour, the CHP reported.
Bonda was driving about 75 mph in the southbound carpool lane just north of Fairview Road when Rowe apparently rolled down the left-side passenger window in the rear of the limousine and jumped, police said.
She was with five companions who told police they had been drinking, Costa Mesa police Sgt. Marty Carver said.
Several cars struck Rowe after she jumped, stretching the accident scene a mile and a half down the freeway, Carver said. She was not carrying identification, but the coroner was able to identify her using her fingerprints.
An autopsy was conducted Wednesday, but the cause of death still is pending, Orange County deputy coroner Kelly Crawford said.
The night began about 5 p.m. Tuesday when Bonda picked up the woman's boyfriend, who identified himself as Bozzi, from his Irvine apartment and took him to the Block at Orange, where he bought clothes at Hot Topic.
They picked up Rowe at the apartment about 8 or 9 p.m. She was wearing a short, black dress and heels, and told the driver that they both were members of the German rock band Rammstein. Their connection to the band could not be verified.
Tom Wetzel, owner of Exotic Limousine Inc. in Newport Beach, said a man who gave an Irvine address rented the Hummer about 5 p.m. Tuesday and booked it until 1 a.m. Wednesday but later extended the reservation, running up a bill of about $3,000, including tips.
First, the pair headed to a bar in Laguna Beach, then they asked Bonda to take them to a spot in Los Angeles. Bonda said Rowe drank a bottle of Moet White Star champagne that the limo company provided before they arrived at The Standard hotel on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.
Rowe's boyfriend suggested she stay in the limousine and went into the hotel alone, Bonda said. During the hour they were parked nearby, Rowe listened to Rammstein music and danced on the sidewalk, at one point trying to dance with a homeless man, Bonda said.
The boyfriend returned to the limo with four other people, and Bonda took them to a nearby apartment, where Rowe and the others went inside and stayed for about an hour and a half.
They left about 3:30 a.m. with the same four - three men and a woman. Bozzi told Bonda they planned to drop off Rowe in Irvine and return to Los Angeles.
He said Rowe was crying and the couple appeared to be arguing.
The limo was about six miles from their Jeffrey Road exit in Irvine when Rowe jumped.
"It was the worst - the craziest thing you'll ever see," said Wetzel, the limo-company owner who rushed to the scene. "We talk about this all the time with our drivers - people partying and getting crazy in the back, but in my 15 years in this business, I've never heard of anything like this."
Carver said the incident was investigated as a suspicious death but after all witnesses had been questioned it was ruled an apparent suicide.
The coroner will determine the official cause of death.
At this point you have to wonder if they were musicians at all, since I can't imagine how they could be in Rammstein. Maybe they were just rich drunks. We have a lot of those around here.