‘The Chosen One’ Accident Survivor Remembers Longtime Friends Who Perished, Addresses Tragic Van Ride & Work Conditions On Netflix Series

by Msnbctv news staff

EXCLUSIVE:  Following the deadly June 16 crash that claimed the lives of two actors and injured six others from the solid and crew of Netflix’s The Chosen One, survivor Yeray Albelda spoke to Deadline in regards to the lack of his shut mates Raymundo Garduño Cruz and Juan Francisco González Aguilar (Identified professionally as Paco Mufote).

The trio was employed to play miners within the Redrum-produced collection. Albelda and González started work on June 2 and have been rooming collectively; Garduño had an earlier begin date.

Albelda, Garduño, González, and the remainder of the solid and crew concerned within the accident have been headed to the Loreto Worldwide Airport to catch flights to their respective house cities—Albelda, Garduño, and Gonzalez have been en path to Tijuana—for per week and a half break from filming. They have been due again on set following the break to work till July 16.

Eight folks complete from The Chosen One have been using within the van: Albelda, Garduño, González, two feminine stunt coordinators, a younger actor and his guardian, and the motive force; solely the motive force and the passenger sitting subsequent to him have been carrying seatbelts. The motive force was new and had solely arrived sooner or later previous to the set as a substitute for a special driver who wanted a break as demand for transportation was excessive.

Albelda suffered head trauma within the accident and is unable to recollect the tragic trip. He was beneath commentary as a result of amnesia and has undergone a number of scans all of which have come again regular. Bodily he’s nursing a fractured clavicle and the scapula however none of his accidents are life-threatening. Medical doctors have ordered him to relaxation for 6-8 weeks.

“I keep in mind delivering my lodge room key that morning and going out to the road to purchase a burrito for the reason that van was selecting us up at 7 a.m. and we hadn’t had time to have breakfast. After that, I keep in mind waking up within the ambulance,” he stated.

“Contained in the van, the setup was three rows for passengers behind the motive force and passenger seats within the entrance. I usually sat within the second row, and consider that’s the place I used to be sitting when the accident occurred. It’s my understanding that Paco and Ray have been sitting in numerous rows, on the finish closest to the van’s sliding door. I’ve been advised the van spun round many instances and the sliding door flew open. My guess based mostly on what I’ve been advised is that [without seatbelts], Paco and Ray have been ejected.”

Albelda doesn’t fault Netflix or Redrum for the accident and says each have gone above and past to help him within the aftermath.

“They’ve completed the proper factor and have been simply,” he stated. “This wasn’t like a ticking time bomb state of affairs the place at any second one thing was going to go improper—no. There’s no method anybody may’ve imagined this may occur. Belief me, I simply misplaced two superb mates who I’ve identified for a few years. If I felt anybody was accountable, I’d converse as much as deliver their households justice.”

Albelda has labored in roughly 5 main productions, together with Worry The Strolling Lifeless, and he says the vans utilized in all of them gave the impression to be in comparable situation. He describes the vans used on The Chosen One as “not model new made in 2022 however positively not previous.” He says there was nothing of notice that brought on him to fret in regards to the van they rode in to the airport however he additionally notes he isn’t a mechanic and isn’t conscious of any mechanical points.

“I just lately needed to go to the situation the place the van from the accident is being saved to say any property I might need left behind. Seeing it once more and the way it was destroyed had a huge effect on me,” Albelda stated. “Some folks have instructed the tires might have been subpar so I made certain to particularly take a look at the situation of all 4 and people persons are incorrect. The wheels have been actually in good situation.”

He added, “One factor I’ll say is that nobody inspired these sitting at the back of the van to make use of seatbelts. Solely the motive force and the entrance passenger constantly used seatbelts. To be clear, there have been seatbelts within the vans, however not often did anybody use them. I’ll converse for myself in saying I by no means did. I all the time felt secure whereas within the van and I couldn’t have imagined {that a} horrible accident like this might occur.”

A lot of the injured have been launched from the hospital the identical day apart from Albelda and a feminine stunt coordinator who additionally was saved beneath commentary. The stunt coordinator advised Albelda just lately that she stays beneath hospital care nearer to house.

Work on The Chosen One resumed on Monday, a choice Albelda helps as a tribute to his mates. As a result of his bodily and emotional trauma, he has opted to exit the collection. The manufacturing is masking his medical payments and can proceed to pay his wage as if he had labored via the top, in accordance with Albelda.

Albelda has heard there have been allegations of poor working situations and shady enterprise practices behind the scenes of The Chosen One. An outspoken critic has been novelist Rick Zazueta, who claims to have perception into the manufacturing because of sources from inside.

Albelda says Zazueta just lately despatched him a good friend request on Fb which he accepted however clarifies that he has by no means met him or identified of him previous to the accident.

“I did learn his accusations and located them very fascinating,” Albelda shared. “I’ve by no means spoken to him and I’m unaware of who his sources are. I can solely converse to my expertise as somebody who has labored on a number of productions of this measurement. Sure, they’re exhausting, and we work lengthy hours. I don’t know if my expertise is totally different as a result of I’m used to working 16-hour days, however all the things on The Chosen One was on par with my expertise on say a present like Worry The Strolling Lifeless. It was enterprise as standard for me. My largest grievance is that typically we’d get picked as much as be on set at 9 am however we wouldn’t shoot till like 2 p.m. however that’s par for the course on this enterprise.”

He continued, “Capturing schedules have been usually in flux as a result of if somebody needed to isolate attributable to Covid an infection, we must pivot to one thing else. My complaints are small. I by no means felt like my life was in danger or that I used to be being taken benefit of. There was by no means a second after I needed to complain or depart the manufacturing. I used to be paid what I used to be promised and when it was promised. I do know we make lower than American actors do however I used to be by no means lied to about what I used to be going to be paid. I used to be by no means abused or exploited in any method or handled unfairly. I’m not saying this isn’t another person’s expertise but it surely wasn’t for me. It wasn’t something I witnessed firsthand both.”

Netflix declined to touch upon this story.

Albelda and different mates of Garduño and González gathered Tuesday afternoon for a memorial service honoring the actors. It was an emotional gathering that celebrated two honorable males who depart behind household, mates, and admirers after a lifetime of giving of themselves and their artwork.

“Each are longtime mates from the theater with who I’ve been via loads—each good instances and dangerous. We’ve been on tour collectively and everyone knows each other’s households,” Albelda stated. “I’ve identified Paco for about 18 years and Ray for round 7 years. Ray was the rebellious one. I by no means posted pictures on set as a result of we signed NDAs that forestall spoilers from getting out. However Ray, because the insurgent, beloved being on set and he posted a couple of pictures anyway. He was very proud to be engaged on this manufacturing. He was very a lot the lifetime of the get together. After we had day off, he would hit the native bars or take heed to music by the pool.”

“I keep in mind Ray and I first met in 2015, we collaborated on three initiatives via his theater firm, Teatro Inmigrante,” Albelda continued. “Via his firm, he labored loads with kids, and I keep in mind it was crucial to him that the younger actors be handled as professionals. He labored with very gifted actors who have been sensible; he didn’t need folks to underestimate what they might accomplish. He additionally tackled social justice points in his productions. We have been speaking about his character at his memorial yesterday, he had a really robust character that didn’t rub everybody the proper method. However it was due to his sternness that he was in a position to assist enact change and get up for what was necessary. He was additionally very beneficiant and needed everybody to succeed. You all the time knew the place you stood with him.”

“Paco and I met on the first theater audition I ever had. I need everybody to know that his stage title Mufote represents his three largest passions: music, pictures, and theater. What stood out about Paco probably the most was his generosity, his empathy, and the way humble he was. He handled everybody equally from the extras to the star of no matter mission he was concerned in. Whereas we have been capturing in Santa Rosalia, he hated being caught contained in the lodge. He would exit locally and begin random conversations with the locals. He visited the museums and discovered the historical past of the realm, which he would then educate us all about after we caught up later. Paco yearned for information. He additionally was good at lending an ear or a shoulder.”

Juan Francisco González Aguilar and Raymundo Garduño Cruz
Private Courtesy

He added, “That picture you noticed on Ray’s Instagram from Paco’s birthday represents how Paco needed to rejoice one other yr of life. A easy gathering amongst mates, he didn’t wish to get together or get drunk. I keep in mind one occasion after we have been capturing a scene within the desert, and he gave up his umbrella to another person who wanted it extra. Each are leaving an enormous gap within the hearts of people who knew them.”

This tragedy hasn’t dissuaded Albelda from persevering with to work as an actor, actually, it’s fueled him to work even tougher understanding two nice thespians he admired not have that chance.

“Their deaths are tragic however I advised their households to search out consolation in the truth that they have been doing what they beloved probably the most. They have been dwelling their dream. I discover consolation in that Paco and Ray died that method and never from an incurable illness or one thing worse. I used to be given the present of dwelling one other day and I don’t take that frivolously. I wish to proceed appearing and honor Paco and Ray by sharing all the things that they taught me. I’ll share my dream with them for the remainder of my life,” he stated.

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