The driver behind the wheel of a bus that rammed into an overpass at Miami International Airport — killing two passengers and leaving many more injured — expressed his sympathies Thursday to those affected, while a group of survivors began speaking with a lawyer.
On Thursday, a relative sent out a short statement in Spanish from driver Ramon Ferreiro. In it, Ferreiro extended his “deepest sympathy” to the families of those killed in “the terrible accident.”
“I know there are no words of comfort for what happened, but my family and I are praying for all those affected and their loved ones,” he wrote in Spanish. “I’m emotionally and physically very shocked by what happened, and for this reason I ask you to respect my family’s privacy during this difficult time.”
The crash happened a few minutes before 7:30 a.m. Saturday. The bus carried members of a Jehovah’s Witness congregation on their way to the annual general assembly meeting in West Palm Beach.
Ferreiro, 47, took a wrong turn on Le Jeune Road. He sped past multiple signs warning of the low clearance at the airport’s arrival concourse, smashing the 11-foot-tall bus into an overpass.
Two people sitting in the front were killed; the remaining 30 passengers went to hospitals for examinations and treatment.
As of Thursday, four people from the crash remained at Jackson Memorial Hospital, spokeswoman Lidia Amoretti said. Of the group, three were in good condition and one was in critical.
Another eight people admitted after the crash already had been discharged.
And some of the survivors have begun speaking with West Palm Beach lawyer Patrick Cousins.
Cousins, who also is Jehovah’s Witness, said that members of his religion tend to shy away from legal battles, and that’s why he hopes to settle the matter with the bus service’s insurance company out of court.
The goal, he said, would be to get compensation for costs such as their hospital bills.
“We are not the type of people to create problems or issues,” Cousins said. “But this is not something we really created. We just want to make sure everybody gets their compensation.”
Saturday’s accident appears to be the first blemish on the record of both the driver and the bus company, Miami Bus Service Corp., which is owned by Mayling and Alberto Hernandez.
Ferreiro has a valid commercial driver’s license with the proper endorsement to carry passengers, according to records from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.