Bus Driver Charged with Vehicular Homicide
MIAMI (AP) - The bus driver in a crash at Miami International Airport that killed three passengers said he is innocent of the charges filed against him.
Ramon Ferreiro told The Miami Herald Friday, "You never think an accident is going to happen, but it did."
"I'm not a killer," he told the newspaper. "I have nothing to hide."
He declined to comment further on advice of his attorneys.
The 48-year-old driver has been charged with three counts of felony vehicular homicide as well as reckless driving. He was released on bond Thanksgiving Day.
Ferreiro was driving a charter bus carrying 31 people en route to a Jehovah's Witness assembly last December. He crashed the nearly 12-foot-tall bus into an airport arrival entrance with a clearance of about 10 feet. One passenger in the upper section was killed and two others died later from injuries sustained in the crash.
According to state records, Ferreiro had a valid commercial driver's license with the proper endorsement to carry passengers at the time of the crash. The company that employed Ferreiro, Miami Bus Service Corp., had no customer complaints on file with state regulators.
A reconstruction of the crash and passenger statements indicate Ferreiro drove past eight different signs warning of a low clearance before crashing into the overpass.
Ferreiro was driving at about 33 miles per hour in a posted 15-mile-per-hour speed zone, the arrest warrant states.
Passengers reportedly warned him he was going the wrong way, but Ferreiro ignored them.
"It should also be noted that there were no signs that the defendant sought to apply the brakes prior to the collision, nor did he seek to take any evasive action prior to slamming into the overpass," Miami-Dade Police Det. George Wilhelm wrote in the report.
In an interview with investigators after the crash, Ferreiro waived his Miranda rights and said he had gotten lost and wound up at the airport. He told police he didn't know the height of the bus.
"He 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," the arrest report states.
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