'The Chosen One' Crash Survivor Speaks Out on Victims of Accident: 'They Were Living Their Dream'

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Netflix
Netflix

Following a tragic accident during the production of Netflix's The Chosen One -- which left two actors dead and six others on the cast and crew injured -- one of the survivors is speaking out about the crash and the two performers who died.

Yeray Albelda spoke out on Wednesday about the fatal accident on June 16 that claimed the lives of Raymundo Garduño Cruz and Juan Francisco González Aguilar, in an interview with Deadline.

Recalling his friends -- whom Albelda had known for several years and had worked with on numerous projects in the past -- he reflected on their fun-loving personalities and their passion.

"Their deaths are tragic but I told their families [at the memorial service] to find comfort in the fact that they were doing what they loved the most," Albelda shared. "They were living their dream."

He says he finds "comfort" in knowing that they "died that way and not from an incurable disease or something worse."

Aldelba also looked back on what he was able to remember from the day of the fatal crash.

"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," Albelda recalled. "After that, I remember waking up in the ambulance."

Albelda had been cast, alongside Cruz and Aguilar, to play miners in the project, which was being shot in Baja California Sur, Mexico. The crash occurred as the actors and crew were headed to the airport to return home during a week-long break from production.

Albelda suffered head trauma in the crash -- along with a broken clavicle and scapula -- and is struggling with trauma-related amnesia that requires him to undergo medical observation and rest for six to eight weeks.

Recalling the situation in the van, before the crash, Albelda explained, "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."

"I have been told the van spun around many times and the sliding door flew open," Albelda said, adding that he believes Cruz and Aguilar were ejected from the vehicle.

The actor also explained that he doesn't fault Netflix or Redrum, the production company behind the project, stating, "They have done the right thing and have been just."

"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," he said. "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."

Albelda explained how he recently had to see the crashed van in person to claim any lost property, and said "seeing it again and how it was destroyed had a huge impact on me."

"One thing I will say is that no one encouraged those sitting in the back of the van to use seatbelts. Only the driver and the front passenger consistently used seatbelts," Albelda said. "To be clear, there were seatbelts in the vans, but rarely did anyone use them. I will speak for myself in saying I never did. I always felt safe while in the van and I couldn’t have imagined that a terrible accident like this could happen."

"I was given the gift of living another day and I don’t take that lightly," he explained, adding that he plans to "honor" the memories of his friends "by sharing everything that they taught me. I will share my dream with them for the rest of my life."

A rep for Netflix told ET on Monday, "We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident that took the lives of Ray Garduño and Juan Francisco González. Our thoughts are with their loved ones and with those injured during this unfortunate accident.”

Redrum, the production company behind the project, tells ET, "All of us on the production of The Chosen One are shocked by the tragic accident that occurred last Thursday, while on transit from Santa Rosalía, Baja California, to the local airport. We are deeply saddened by the passing of our colleagues Ray Garduño and Juan Francisco González and are closely supporting all those affected by this unspeakable tragedy. Redrum has been cooperating with local authorities and initial reports and accounts from witnesses indicate that all safety protocols were in place and this was an unfortunate accident.”

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