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Jackson Docs Say Experience & Religion Played Part In Bus Crash Treatment

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Photo from the underpass where the accident occurred. (Credit: CBS 4 Miami / Joseph Escobar)

Photo from the underpass where the accident occurred. (Credit: CBS 4 Miami / Joseph Escobar)

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Summer Knowles reports for CBS4 News. She joined CBS4 in June 2...
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South Florida Crime

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Officials at Jackson Memorial Hospital updated the conditions of the remaining hospitalized victims from Saturday’s bus crash at Miami International Airport and to explain how they were prepared for the mass casualties.

All total, 13 patients were brought to Jackson Memorial Hospital after the bus crash that claimed the life of two men. A total of more than 30 people were injured in the accident. One of the two deaths was a patient taken to Jackson.

Seven patients have since been released from Jackson and of the five remaining at the hospital: three are in fair condition, one is in good condition and one remains in critical condition as of Tuesday afternoon.

“Thirteen patients coming to Jackson, that’s like one 747 landing at JFK, it doesn’t overwhelm New York City, same thing, one big bus doesn’t overwhelm Jackson,” said Dr. Nicholas Namias of the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson.

The accident could have been avoided if the driver had heeded the warning signs and pleas from his passengers to turn around. The accident happened after 7 a.m. Saturday, December 1st when driver Ramon Ferreiro tried to enter through the arrivals area of the airport.

The arrivals lane is marked with three yellow signs, one with flashing lights, which informs drivers that the overpass has a low clearance. A sign on the overpass reads “High Vehicles Stop Turn Left.”

The bus Ferreiro was driving was approximately 11 feet tall. According to CBS4 News partner the Miami Herald, when the passengers in the front of the bus realized he didn’t make the turn and was going to go under the overpass, they urged him to back up and turn around, according to the paper who spoke the daughter of a passenger on the bus.

Ferreiro didn’t, and slammed into the overpass.

The group on the bus was traveling from the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Sweetwater to West Palm Beach for a religious conference.

Jackson doctors said the group’s religious beliefs played a role in how they were cared for in the Trauma center because Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t accept blood transfusions.

“It’s always a factor in trauma because we are prepared with blood for all trauma patients and there were major injuries,” said Dr. Namias. “But, Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t accept blood and we respect that and we have ways of managing that problem.”

Doctors at Jackson said the last major mass casualty event they dealt with was a fatal explosion on a cruise ship. They said that event helped prepare them for all major events since then, including Saturday’s bus crash.

As for the bus driver, Ferreiro was questioned by police but so far no charges have been filed.

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