Maria Sanjines survived the deadly bus crash at Miami International Airport over the weekend – an accident she said could have been avoided.
The 62-year-old woman said one of her fellow church members told driver Ramon Ferriero, 47, of Miami not to drive through an 8-foot-6-inch concrete overpass entrance.
"The sister said, watch out, don't go that way and he went faster,” Sanjines said in Spanish.
Two people were killed after the almost-12-foot-high chartered bus slammed into the overpass at the airport on Saturday.
Ferriero was told he was going the wrong way, crash survivor Luis Jimenez said.
Police said Ferriero was taking members of a Jehovah's Witness congregation from Miami to West Palm Beach for an assembly, got lost and ended up at the airport.
"The man was lost and didn't know where he was going,” Jimenez said in Spanish.
No charges have been filed during the pending investigation, police said. Ferriero could not be reached for comment.
The crash was an accident, Mayling Hernandez of Miami Bus Service said Saturday.
“We are praying for all those people who are ill and injured,” she said on behalf of her family business.
The crash killed Serafin Castillo, 86, and another church member, 56-year-old Francisco Urana, died after being rushed to the hospital, police said.
Jackson Health System said Monday that six of the other 12 patients who were accepted at Ryder Trauma Center or Jackson Memorial Hospital following the accident have been discharged. Two remain in critical condition and four others are in stable condition.
Sanjines explained how she told Castillo to get up because the bus was going to explode – crying as she spoke.
She claims she is lucky to be alive because she was going to sit next to Castillo, but changed her mind.
Violeta Cornejo was also counting her blessings Monday. She said that she usually travels to the assemblies in the front of the bus with Castillo, but didn't make the trip on Saturday.
"I don't understand why we always have to lose the good ones,” said Penelope Narvaes, a neighbor who was friends with Castillo, in Spanish.