MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The bus driver behind the wheel of the chartered bus that slammed into an overhang at Miami International Airport, killing two and injuring more than two dozen others, has accepted a plea deal
Ramon Ferreiro, 48, stood silently by his attorney Theodore Mastos has he entered the guilty plea to three counts of vehicular manslaughter.
Under terms of the plea, Ferreiro will stay out of jail, however he will have to serve two years of house arrest and eight years of probation. Also, his driver’s license will be permanently revoked.
The crash occurred on December 1st, 2012. 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. Those killed were Serafin Castillo, 86; Francisco Urana, 56 and Gilceria Garcia, 75.
Prosecutor Laura Adams said she’s had lengthy meetings with the families of the three people who died and they felt the terms of the plea were “best resolution for them (the families).” She added they felt Ferreiro final judgement would be in the hands of a higher authority.
“Many of the families said it will be in God’s hands and they would rather remember their loved ones,” said Adams.
Mastos said Ferreiro was not under the influence or texting or distracted when the accident occurred. He added that it was a merely temporary lapse in judgement and that his client was very remorseful for the deaths he caused.
The accident could have been avoided if the Ferreiro had heeded the warning signs and pleas from his passengers to turn around. The accident happened after 7 a.m. Saturday, December 1st when 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. 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.
Ferreiro didn’t and slammed into the overpass.
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