The Chosen One: Excessive Speed Cited in Prelim Investigation Report

A little less than a week after Raymundo Garduño Cruz and Juan Francisco González Aguilar (professional name, Paco Mufote) were killed and six more cast/crew members who were involved in Netflix's series adaptation of writer Mark Millar and artist Peter Gross' comic book series "American Jesus" (The Chosen One) were injured in a van accident, Deadline Hollywood is reporting the results of Mexico's National Guard's preliminary investigation into the fatal accident. Though the report is non-legally binding and a fuller investigation continues, the report found that driver Alberto Jimenez Gomez was driving the passenger van "at excessive speeds" along the Transpeninsular highway in Santa Rosalia-Loreto, Baja, California on June 16th at 11:20 a.m. local time (also based on reporting from local news site Zeta Tijuana, with DH contacting Mexico's National Guard for confirmation and reaching out to Netflix for further comment). In addition to the excess speed, the report also states that Gomez did not decrease his speed or properly adapt to weather conditions, additional factors the report says contributed to the accident. Earlier this week, accident survivor Yeray Albelda spoke with DH about the accident, saying that he has no memory of the incident. After conversations with his fellow drivers, the consensus was that the van's sliding door opened, ejecting Cruz and Aguilar (who were reportedly not wearing seatbelts). Albelda also pushed back on claims that the condition of the tires was a factor, but did mention that the driver was new and had just recently arrived on set as a replacement driver.

THE CHOSEN ONE (Image: Netflix/Millarworld)

"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," the streamer wrote in a statement earlier this week. With production on pause and an investigation reportedly still underway, Redrum also released a statement regarding the tragedy. "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," the statement from the production company reads. "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."

Over the weekend, The Daily Beast posted an update with comments from Liliana Conlisk Gallegos, an artist & friend of Mufote, as well as allegations made by novelist Rick Zazueta via Facebook accusing the Mexican film industry, the producers, and the streaming service of putting profits before lives, with both demanding an investigation. "For weeks now people close to this production know that the logistics have been terrible. The actors have not stopped complaining about how poorly they are being treated specifically in the subject of transport and logistics" Zazueta claimed in his post.

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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