Costa Rica has had three terrible bus accidents in the last 13 years, in 2009, 2016, and 2022. What is being done to make sure this stops happening? The judicial proceedings over the first accident are still being carried out, unresolved for 13 years, while victims still suffer physical, emotional, and mental consequences.
Harley Priscila Castro Benavides, for example, is a survivor of that tragedy who still deals with leg and lung injuries, while her daughter, 3 years-old at the time of the accident, still remembers it and cannot travel by bus. Who could blame her? A hammock bridge collapsed and the bus fell. Five people died and 38 were injured.
15 people died in 2016 when a bus veered off a road and fell 27 meters. 11 people died on the scene and four at hospitals. The bus was full of people heading from the National University to the Maleku Indigenous Reserve to carry out social work.
Most recently, on September 17, a landslide pushed a bus to a precipice of 100 meters. Another landslide happened on that highway on Friday and it was still being cleaned up. The road was not supposed to be open to traffic. The Ministry of Public Works and Transportation said he did not issue an opening order.
One survivor recounts how his family couldn’t find seats together and how things would have been different if they had. The lady sitting next to him was one of nine people who lost their lives in the tragedy. The man was able to climb out of the bus and make a jump, avoiding falling into rushing water, so he could go get help on the road. A lady was holding onto a tree branch asking him for help, begging to not let her die and there was no way he could help her. He still can’t sleep because of hearing her voice and the voices of children screaming. This accident should have been avoided. The road should have been closed. The parts well known to be unstable should have been fixed decades ago.