Skid marks may indicate tour bus that crashed was speeding, Mexican prosecutors say

Americans dead in bus crash

CHETUMAL, Mexico -- Prosecutors in Mexico are blaming a bus driver for causing the crash that killed 12 people Tuesday, including eight American tourists. Seven other Americans were hurt.

Now, Mexican prosecutors say skid marks on the narrow highway may indicate the tour bus was speeding, causing a crash so violent it flipped the bus on its side. Passengers were tossed across the road and into a grassy shoulder.

A look at the scene of a bus crash in Mexico on Tue., Dec. 19, 2017. TV Azteca

Red Cross responder Marcelino Perez says it's the worst he's ever seen. He said people were in a desperate state -- some were screaming because of the pain and their injuries and seeing their relatives who had died.

The passengers were from two Royal Caribbean cruise ships on a day trip to Mayan ruins. The bus was operated by a Mexican company, and the driver was treated for injuries, but was not arrested.

Five of Israel Franco's relatives from Florida were on board the bus. His 78-year-old sister, Fanya Shamis, was killed, along with his nephew's wife, Anna Behar, and her 11-year-old son, Daniel.

"Daniel was my sister's shining boy, she loved him and he used to be by her side all the time," said Franco.

Jim Walker, a former defense attorney for cruise lines, now represents passengers. He has several cases pending against Royal Caribbean.

"There's really no federal regulation from the U.S., there's no regulatory body at all in the foreign countries that they take their passengers to," Walker said. "Once they take them to a port, they take no responsibility, legally. Once you walk off the gang plank, you're basically entering the country at your own risk, according to the cruise lines."

In a statement, Royal Caribbean said it's doing all it can to help its guests, including medical assistance and transportation. The two ships have left to continue on their journeys and will return to Florida.