Bus driver in fatal crash ignored riders

Dec. 3, 2012 at 2:13 PM

MIAMI, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- The driver in a fatal Miami bus crash ignored pleas from passengers and signs warning his 11-foot-tall bus wouldn't clear an overpass after taking a wrong turn.

Two died and 30 more were injured Saturday morning when a bus driven by Ramon Ferrerio, 57, carrying a group of Jehovah's Witnesses to a prayer conference, took a wrong turn into Miami International Airport. Passengers noted several signs indicating tall vehicles shouldn't proceed on the road Ferrerio had taken and passengers seeing the approaching overpass asked him to stop.

"When he was going to go under the overpass, the people in the front of the bus told the driver that he was going a way that he shouldn't," said a survivor who didn't want to be named. "They told him to back up, but he didn't pay attention and they crashed."

Police said Serafin Castillo, 86, was killed on impact. Francisco Urena, 57, died a short time after paramedics rushed him to an area hospital. Both men were sitting toward the front of the bus, the top of which one witness said was "peeled back like a can of sardines," The Miami Herald reported.

The newspaper's initial review of the tour company operating the bus, Miami Bus Service, found no complaints or citations recently. The company's owner told reporters Ferreiro had driven "a few times before" for her company and had only been working for her for a few months.

"We are human beings, just like the people who were on the bus. Human beings can make mistakes, and now we are mourning as human beings," Hernandez said.

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