On July 16th a fatal car crash claimed the lives of two actors from Netflix’s The Chosen One. Six other people from the cast and crew were injured in the same crash. Raymundo Garduño Cruz and Juan Francisco González Aguilar lost their lives that day. Their friend Yeray Albelda survived the crash and reflected on that fateful day in an interview with Deadline.
“I remember turning in my hotel room key that morning and going out to the street to buy a burrito since the van was picking us up at 7 a.m. and we hadn’t had time to have breakfast. After that, I remember waking up in the ambulance,” Albelda said.
Albelda suffered head trauma and has no memory of the tragic ride. He did suffer a fractured clavicle and scapula, but none of his injuries are life-threatening. Doctors ordered him to rest for 6-8 weeks. Since the accident, Albelda has played the situation over in his head based on what others have told him about the impact.
“Inside the van, the setup was three rows for passengers behind the driver and passenger seats in the front. I normally sat in the second row, and believe that’s where I was sitting when the accident happened,” Albelda said. “It’s my understanding that Paco and Ray were sitting in different rows, at the end closest to the van’s sliding door. I have been told the van spun around many times and the sliding door flew open. My guess based on what I’ve been told is that Paco and Ray were ejected.”
Tragedy for ‘The Chosen One’ Crew
Eight people total from the TV production were riding in the van: Albelda, Garduño, González, two female stunt coordinators, a young actor with his guardian, and the driver. They were heading to the Loreto International Airport to catch flights to their respective home cities to enjoy a week and a half break from filming.
The driver and the passenger sitting next to him were reportedly the only ones in the vehicle wearing seatbelts. The driver was new and had only arrived a day prior to the set as a replacement for a different driver who needed a break as demand for transportation was high.
Albelda admitted he did not have a seatbelt on that day. While he felt there was never a threat to his safety at the time, looking back he knows someone should’ve taken charge of safety. Despite the accident, he does not fault Netflix or the production company, Redrum. He said both entities have been there for him and the families of the victims.
“They have done the right thing and have been just,” he said. “This wasn’t like a ticking time bomb situation where at any moment something was going to go wrong—no. There’s no way anyone could’ve imagined this would happen. Trust me, I just lost two very good friends who I’ve known for many years. If I felt anyone was responsible, I would speak up to bring their families justice.”