8 Americans Dead in Bus Crash in Mexico

December 20, 2017 Updated: October 5, 2018    

There were 8 Americans among the 12 who died in a bus crash in southeastern Mexico on Tuesday, Dec. 19. The bus carried passengers from two Royal Caribbean cruise ships on a day trip to Mayan ruins in Chacchoben when it flipped over on a highway.

Identities of the victims haven’t been released yet. Fanya Shamis, 78, of Coconut Creek, and her 11-year-old grandson may have died in the crash, according to Shamis’s grandson, Benjamin Shababo, Sun Sentinel reported.

He said another relative of his is in a hospital and the family is missing two more.

“We don’t have really concrete information,” Shababo said. “We’re all scared. It’s just really scary to process this in my head that possibly something really bad happened to them.”

Mexican police officers and paramedics work, helping the victims of a road accident where a bus driving tourists to Chacchoben archaeological zone overturned between El Cafetal and Mahahual, in Quintana Roo state, Mexico on Dec. 19, 2017. (Manuel Jesus Ortega Canche/AFP/Getty Images)

The other fatalities were two Swedes, one Canadian, and one Mexican. All were tourists, except for the Mexican tour guide, Fox News reported.

Among the 18 injured, seven were from North America and two were from Sweden.

Chris Brawley was on a later bus that got to the scene minutes after the crash, he said.

Video grab of a police van and ambulance seen in the area where a bus driving tourists to Chacchoben archaeological zone overturned, in the road between El Cafetal and Mahahual, in Quintana Roo state, Mexico on Dec. 19, 2017. (Manuel Jesus Ortega Canche/AFP/Getty Images)

“The bus clearly lost control somehow as there were swerve marks all over the road surface,” Brawley said. He also said the road was dry and the sky was clear that day.

There were 31 people in the bus, including 27 passengers of the Celebrity Equinox and Serenade of the Seas cruise ships. The bus left the port of Mahahual at about 9 a.m. and was about an hour on the way when it crashed.

The route from Mahahual to Chacchoben, Mexico. (Screenshot via Google Maps)

Images from the scene show the bus on its side and at least one body lying on the ground with passengers and first responders around.

 

“The news from Costa Maya about a bus accident involving #CelebrityEquinox & #SerenadeoftheSeas guests is heartbreaking, “The Royal Caribbean Cruises stated in a release. “Our hearts go out to all those involved. We are doing all we can to care for our guests, including assisting with medical care and transportation.”