The driver of a commercial bus that crashed into an overpass at Miami International Airport last December, killing three passengers and injuring dozens more, was arrested Nov. 27 after being charged with three counts of vehicular homicide and reckless driving.
The driver, 48-year-old Ramon Ferreiro, maintains his innocence and told investigators that he became confused while transporting 32 passengers to a Jehovah’s Witness assembly in West Palm Beach.
Passengers aboard the 1999 Van Hool charter bus, which was owned and operated by Miami Bus Service Corp, told police they warned Mr. Ferreiro he was going the wrong way, but he failed to change course.
Police reports say that Mr. Ferreiro drove through a construction zone and past eight different road signs warning of a low 8-foot-6-inch clearance before he collided with the overpass. The impact ripped a 12-foot section off of the 12-foot-tall bus, killing 86-year-old Serafin Castillo who was sitting in the upper section. All of the other passengers were taken to a Miami hospital, where Francisco Urana, 56, and Gliceria Emerida Garcia, 75, later died from their crash injuries.
Authorities also charged Mr. Ferreiro with driving 33 miles per hour in a 15-mph zone.
According to the Miami-Dade Police Department crash report, Mr. Ferreiro “also stated that he saw the signs warning of the low clearance and he saw the sign that directed buses to go to the left, but for reasons he could not explain, he disregarded the signs and wound up in the wrong lane and slammed into the overpass.’’
Neither Mr. Ferreiro, who holds a commercial driver’s license and is endorsed to transport passengers, nor Miami Bus Service Corp. have any record of previous safety violations.
The deadly crash is the source of at least three personal-injury and wrongful-death lawsuits filed in Miami-Dade Civil Court against Mr. Ferreiro and Miami Bus Service. All of the lawsuits allege negligence was a factor in the crash.