A man is recovering in a Miami hospital one week after after losing his wife, a son and his mother-in-law in a bus crash during an excursion to visit Mayan ruins in Mexico.
The crash took the lives of 11 Royal Caribbean cruise ship passengers and a Mexican tour guide last Tuesday when the bus flipped on a two-lane highway. Moises Behar spoke to WSVN about the tragedy from his bed at at Mount Sinai Medical Center, asking: "Why me? Why did I survive and not them?"
The only other survivor from the Virginia family's vacation on Royal Caribbean's Celebrity Equinox is Behar's 15-year-old son, David. Killed in the crash were his 11-year-old son, Daniel; wife Anna; and her mother, Fanya Shamis, 78, of Coconut Creek.
Behar said her heard David's voice calling to him after the crash. "That was the first voice I heard, 'Dad! Dad! Are you OK?' " he told WSVN. "I was lying on the floor, trying to look for my wife, whom I never found."
He found Daniel, but the boy died in his arms, he said. Despite his loss, he said his loved ones will be forever by his side. "They are present in my mind, in my soul and in my heart every single waking moment of my life," he said.
The family was among the 27 passengers on the bus from two Royal Caribbean ships. The Celebrity Equinox sailed from the Port of Miami while the Serenade of the Seas departed from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.
The bus driver was taken into custody in a manslaughter investigation after preliminary findings that negligence and excessive speed caused the crash, NBC 6 reported. "The standards of safety are not the same overseas,” Behar said.
Among the eight Americans who died were two other Floridians: Christopher and Laura Couallier, who lived near Orlando. NBC6 reported that Christopher Couallier was the CFO for the Port Miami tunnel project, according to friends and family.
In his interview, Behar reflected on how fragile life can be. "Don’t take life for granted," he said. "Live every day and make sure that your loved ones are cared for and they know that you care for them."
A GoFundMe page was set up to benefit the Behar family with a goal of raising $100,000. As of Tuesday evening, it had received 363 donations and surpassed $41,000.