The husband of an Australian woman killed by a bus travelling at 70km/h in a 20km/h zone in Mexico last month has blamed her death on privately owned bus companies, whose drivers race each other to pick up customers before one another.
Kylie Nastasi and her husband Tony had just caught a bus to their Cancun resort on the last day of their trip before they were scheduled to fly back to Australia. In the end, they did fly home together – but 23 days later, in tragic circumstances.
Mr Nastasi said he and his wife were holding hands as they began to cross the road, which they had done every day, when he noticed a bus “30 or 40 metres” to his right-hand side.
“He [the bus driver] wasn’t looking at us and I didn’t realise he was doing 70km/h in a 20km/h zone,” Mr Nastasi said. “We only had one lane to cross, but before I knew it he was on top of us. He didn’t beep and he didn’t skid.
“The pressure of the bus spun me to my right, but the bus cleaned Kylie up. Half a second later, it would have been both of us.”
Mr Nastasi said the bus skidded for 13 metres and threw his wife five metres onto the ground in front of the bus.
Kylie Nastasi, 44, who worked as a retail manager for a kitchenwear shop in Sydney, spent 12 days in intensive care, but died from a brain haemorrhage as a result of the impact.
In the days before the accident, Mr Nastasi noticed that three buses from three privately owned companies would race each other on a daily basis to each bus stop.
“They’re killing locals and tourists just for the sake of a bus fare because the competition is so fierce,” he said. “They’re continually racing each other on this 25-kilometre route.”
“He [the bus driver] hasn’t seen us because he’s too busy looking in his mirror to see where the bus is behind him. He’s trying to create a gap so he can pick up passengers as quickly as possible.”
Mr Nastasi said the most insulting part of the ordeal was when the manager of the bus company had the audacity to come into the hospital and offer to sort everything out, only for one thing in return.
“They were more interested in buttering me up to get me to sign a pardon for the driver for the liabilities side,” Mr Nastasi said. “There’s a complete disregard for life and no respect.”
“When the press interviewed the bus company, he [the manager] didn’t even know my wife had passed away. That’s the mentality over there. I was absolutely filthy.
“They wouldn’t even turn up to meetings to discuss things or return my calls.”
After the accident on September 10, Mr Nastasi was put up in a room at the resort he was staying at until things were sorted out. He could have left earlier, but made a promise to Kylie’s family that he would stay by the side of his wife of seven years.
“I told her family: ‘We came together, so I’m not leaving here without her,”‘ he said. “Her brother said: ‘Tony, Kylie did more with you in eight years than she she did in her whole life.”‘
“Kylie was colourful, she was bright and no matter where she went, she fitted in.”
“We just wanted to go somewhere where we could relax on the beach and do nothing. We had already booked to go back in two years, but that won’t be happening now.”
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