The Chosen One's Yeray Albelda is sharing how he paid tribute to his co-stars Raymundo Garduño Cruz and Juan Francisco González Aguilar after they died in a vehicle accident in Mexico on June 16.
According to Deadline, Albelda and friends of González (who was also known as Paco Mufote) and Garduño gathered for a memorial service on June 21.
"Both are longtime friends from the theater with who I've been through a lot—both good times and bad," he told the outlet. "We've been on tour together and we all know one another's families."
Albelda told Deadline he'd known González for about 18 years and Garduño for about seven. "Ray was the rebellious one," he continued. "I never posted photos on set because we signed NDAs that prevent spoilers from getting out. But Ray, as the rebel, loved being on set and he posted a few photos anyway. He was very proud to be working on this production. He was very much the life of the party. When we had time off, he would hit the local bars or listen to music by the pool."
Garduño and González died following an accident that took place while they were in transit from Santa Rosalía to the local airport. Six others—including two other cast members and four crew members—were injured but remain stable, E! News confirmed.
Albelda was among the survivors. According to Deadline, he suffered head trauma from the accident and doesn't remember the ride to the airport, only waking up in the ambulance. He did, however, describe the setup of the vehicle.
"Inside the van, the setup was three rows for passengers behind the driver and passenger seats in the front," Albelda said. "I normally sat in the second row, and believe that's where I was sitting when the accident happened. It's my understanding that Paco and Ray were sitting in different rows, at the end closest to the van's sliding door. I have been told the van spun around many times and the sliding door flew open. My guess based on what I've been told is that [without seatbelts], Paco and Ray were ejected."
Albelda noted there were seatbelts in the van.
According to Deadline, Albelda was under observation due to amnesia and underwent multiple scans, which came back normal, following the accident. The outlet reported he fractured his clavicle and scapula but that his injuries are not life-threatening.
While production on The Chosen One was temporarily paused, work has since resumed, Deadline reported. And while Albelda told the outlet he supported this decision as a tribute to his friends, he noted he will no longer be a part of the Netflix series. He also said he doesn't blame the streaming service or the production company Redrum for what happened, telling Deadline they've supported him by covering his medical expenses and continuing to pay his full salary.
"They have done the right thing and have been just," he said. "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. Trust me, 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."
In a statement, a Netflix spokesperson said, "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."
A Redrum spokesperson also added, "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."
The investigation into the accident remains ongoing.